Promoting healthy lifestyles at OLOL

Year 9 pupils involved in the project with the Outside Agencies who worked alongside the pupils in designing the resource.
Year 9 pupils involved in the project with the Outside Agencies who worked alongside the pupils in designing the resource.

Year 9 pupils from Our Lady of Lourdes School in Ballymoney have been involved in a programme to promote healthy living, culminating in designing a new healthy lifestyle resource targeted at their peers aged 11-16.

Their brief was to design a healthy lifestyle resource which promotes physical activity, good nutrition and the importance of hydration. Pupils worked in partnership with the Children & Young Peoples Strategic Partnership and a local illustrator Jonathon Osborne to develop their ideas, designing every aspect of the resource from deciding on a swim bag, to key health messages that would feature on it and ultimately the illustrations on the bag.

Feedback from young people included: Caoimhe Fleming aged 13 “it gives a good message across to young people”; Kaliana Kuzera aged 13 “the bag will encourage

young people to move more, be healthy and drink more”; Nadine McErlain aged 13 “we all worked together and really enjoyed designing the bags”.

Sabrina Lynn, Senior Health Improvement Specialist Co-ordinator said: “Young people were at the heart of this project. The Northern Obesity Partnership identified that there are very few resources available for this age group promoting healthy lifestyles. We also recognised that this age group aren’t interested in the usual information leaflets so we undertook to engage them in designing a resource from start to finish, ensuring that the final product was something that would be both useful and informative for young people across the Northern Area. We are very excited by the end result.

CYPSP Sandra Anderson said: “This project has been a great example of successful partnership working in action, between the young people and the agencies involved. The final product is a credit to the group involved as they have managed to convey the complex health messages in an innovative and creative way.”

Our Lady of Lourdes principal Eilish Gillan said: “This has been a wonderful and exciting project for our Year 9 pupils as they have been involved in the planning and design of the “swim bag” from start to finish. As a learning experience, the pupils worked with Jonathon Osborne, the graphic designer, combining their creative and practical skills to come up with a finished product to meet the brief. They saw their creative ideas come to fruition and this has been a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. Our Lady of Lourdes School is delighted to have been involved in this project and would like to thank the Northern Obesity Partnership and the Children & Young Peoples Strategic Partnership for giving our pupils this opportunity.”

The Healthy Lifestyle Bag will be made available to all Year 8 pupils across the Northern Trust area throughout the 2017/2018 academic year.