THIS year’s Healthy Places awards have just launched, giving cash rewards to groups working to boost the health of people in their area.
The prizes - which range from £250 to £2000 - can help develop grassroots projects that serve their communities.
Nominations will be accepted from schemes that tackle every conceivable health issue, from mental health, nutrition and exercise, to inclusion and environmental issues.
One of last year’s winners was the Temple Normanton school playscheme, that was awarded £2000 for its work encouraging kids to nurture and enjoy the environment.
Stephen Wright is a governor at Temple Normanton Primary school, who set up the scheme 36 years ago, and has been managing it ever since.
He said: “When we won £2000 I was so surprised. It was amazing.
“It has helped us to involve the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in doing workshops in the wildlife area that the children have developed.”
“It is about healthy living and involving the community to improve life skills. We are such a small area, and if we can do it, anyone can.”
The playscheme runs for two weeks during the summer holidays, at a cost of £8 per week per child. As well as day trips, the children enjoy activities including healthy eating, St John Ambulance workshops, dental workshops and environmental maintenance.
The school also has a popular allotment where they grow fresh produce for the children to take home and for parents to buy.
Sarah Spendlove, a teacher at the school and a playscheme volunteer, said:
“All of these things like healthy eating, reinforce what the children are learning in the classroom and theylove it.
“The kids like finding out about the things they they eat and what they dig up.”
Chloe Elliott, 8, who has been attending the playscheme for five years, said: “I just like coming down and being in the fresh air.”
Steve Pintus, associate director for public health, said: “The judges felt Temple Normanton playscheme deserved an award for its work in helping children gain new and practical experience and the continued partnership with schools to benefit the community.”
Nominations for this years awards can be made by groups themselves or third parties. For an application form, visit http://www.derbyshirecounty.nhs.uk/home and click the link for Healthy Places Awards, or collect a form from the Derbyshire Times, 37 Station Road, Chesterfield, S41 7XD.