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Youth Project Funding Inspires Healthy Eating Choices

Cumbria Housing Partners Fund has granted £5,451 to  Drop Zone Youth Projects as funding to help them  promote healthy eating in the four youth clubs they run in Barrow.

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The funding supports the employment of two members of staff to run a healthy eating project once a week at each of the centres. The youth clubs, for young people aged 7- 24, are based in Barrow, Dalton, Ormsgill and Askam and provide a safe and supportive environment where young people can meet, socialise, learn new skills and be educated in an informal way.

“I have learnt healthy eating can be fun”, Jess aged 13

Sue Johnson of DropZone Youth Projects, said: “We have young people whose breakfasts consist of an energy drink and a packet of crisps; tea time consists of takeaways and snack and drink choices are predominantly sugar packed.

“We want to inspire and empower them to make positive changes to their eating habits by involving them in decisions such as changing tuck-shop stock, supporting them to run sessions such as cooking clubs, community meals and creating information displays within the community centres to inform others about nutrition.”

“Baking was fun and we learnt about new foods” Darcy aged 12

Young people have already taken part in sessions looking at all aspects of healthier eating choices from labeling, the importance of vitamins and minerals, different food groups to the importance of keeping hydrated.

“I can understand how much sugar there is in things” Sam aged 17

They have tried new foods and talked about wanting to change their families’ choices – particularly around bread and fruit. More of them are now drinking fewer sugary drinks and understand better about the importance of eating a balanced diet.

Janice Sharp, Assistant Director of Housing for Barrow in Furness Borough Council, said: “We are delighted Cumbria Housing Partners Fund is supporting this project.

Drop Zone Healthy Eating Project
Drop Zone Healthy Eating Project

The Healthy Eating Project directly supports the Borough area plan to improve health and well-being in our communities. The sessions will give up to 75 young people, many of them from disadvantaged, low income families, the skills and confidence to cook healthy, affordable foods. By learning about the impact food and drink choices can have on general health, we can hope to change some of the short and long-term impacts that poor diets have.”


Fund supports community projects across Cumbria

In the past year Cumbria Housing Partners Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, has provided grants to individuals, community and voluntary organisations for training and projects aimed at improving people’s employability or education. The £100,000 fund has also supported projects which provide advice and guidance, support and engage people in their local community, and improve community facilities.

John Clasper, Chair of Cumbria Housing Partners added,” This funding supports the employment of two staff to deliver a project which has potential to bring long term benefits to the community. It is great to hear the young people are already enjoying cooking sessions and taking part in group meals creating a more positive and social aspect to eating. This will not only benefit them, but also their families.

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Barrow in Furness has been identified as being in the top 10% of the most deprived areas in the country. Data shows almost a third of the boroughs four and five year olds are overweight or obese. By giving them knowledge and increasing their skills to cook healthy meals, as well as teaching them how to budget, the healthy eating project aims to have a positive impact on their longer term health and well-being.”