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Fast food shops and businesses pilot ideas to make high streets healthier

22nd February 2018

Healthy London Partnership is working with fast food shops, business owners, entrepreneurs, charities and young people to pilot their ideas for making high streets in Haringey, Lambeth and Southwark healthier for children and young people.

The Healthy High Streets Challenge invited people who work, live and play around three London high streets to submit their ideas on how they could help children and young people to make healthier food choices.  Those who had the winning ideas are now receiving support and funding to test their ideas on their high streets.

On West Green Road in Haringey, Tasters chicken store, will be building on their healthier meal options for adults to create a healthier children’s menu. Staff will be trained to encourage young people to choose the healthier options and Tasters will test new approaches to make the healthier choice the easiest and most attractive option.

Tasters owner Shahid Majeed said:  “Being a parent of three young children myself I have always been conscious of the eating habits of young people, therefore I started offering healthy eating options in my shop. With the Healthy High Streets Challenge I can now promote these options more to help younger people make healthier choices.”

In Lambeth, children’s charity Oasis Play will be running a campaign led by young people who will work with local food cafes around Clapham Road and Stockwell Tube Station to develop affordably priced, healthy menus for children and young people. Incentives and special promotions will be used to encourage young people to make healthier choices.

Oasis Play Volunteer Coordinator David Ogwe said:

“I was keen to be involved in the Healthy High Streets Challenge because I work with many of children, young people and families in Lambeth and I want to see positive changes in the area. It’s very important we give young people meaningful and challenging opportunities to make a positive contribution to their local community. I’m passionate about young people, I believe we do not empower or celebrate young people enough. The Challenge will allow young people to be at the centre of a local initiative. The fact young people will be an active part of this campaign is already a success.”

In Walworth Road and East Street in Southwark, five finalists will receive support from experts on innovation, businesses, nutrition and marketing to develop their ideas further and prepare to test them.  These include Yipao Street Food, a new street food initiative called Happy Ships, young local food entrepreneur Jude Jubey from L & J Food Limited, a tenant with a chef background from Rudy’s Kitchen, and Nika’s Kitchen and Pembroke House centre.

Jude Jubey said: “The road we take to better ourselves isn’t always easy, but with guidance and support we can achieve it. L and J foods stands by this we aim to guide and support each other to be the best version of ourselves.”

Carlos A. Ramirez, owner of Yipao Street Food, said: “We want to create an impact and make a difference in our community involving local traders offering fresh quality products to an accessible price. Our aim is to offer the community a healthy alternative to street food, seeing as obesity is currently having a big impact in our younger generation.”

Annika Clinkett, Chef, Nutritional Therapist and founder of Nika’s Kitchen said:

“Being a part of the Healthy High Street Challenge has given us the opportunity to reach out to parents and children in our communities; sharing our skills and passion for healthier alternatives in fun, innovative ways, while supporting the local market and maintaining a mindful approach when making food choices”.

The Challenge was launched in response to the findings from our Great Weight Debate which aimed to raise awareness of London’s childhood obesity epidemic and find out from Londoners what changes they thought could help children to be healthier.

Londoners responding to our Great Weight Debate survey identified too many cheap unhealthy food and drink options,  too many fast food shops and safety concerns around letting children play unsupervised as the top three factors  making it harder for children to lead healthy lives.  Cheaper healthy food and drink, support for families to cook healthier food, limits on the number of fast food shops and less marketing and advertising of high fat and sugary food and drink were the top four factors they felt would support children to lead healthier lives.

Jemma Gilbert, Director of Prevention at Healthy London Partnership, said:

“We need to change the face of London high streets and we know this is best done with the businesses who know their customers best and the families, community groups and residents who know their high streets best.

“We were really impressed with the ideas submitted for the Healthy High Streets Challenge and excited to be working with all the finalists  to pilot their ideas for making their high streets healthier for children and young people.  The evidence suggests there’s no one solution for reducing childhood obesity – it’s about doing lots of different things at the same time – and the pilots in Haringey, Lambeth and Southwark aim to complement the work already happening in the boroughs and being done at a London level.”

The Healthy High Streets Challenge is being run in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, Battersea Power Station Foundation and the Hyde Group, with support from Hackney, Lambeth and Southwark councils.

The Challenge is being delivered by the Innovation Unit with the first pilots set to start in Haringey and Lambeth in March and run for eight weeks.

Find out more about the Healthy High Streets Challenge.

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