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News Report Page 6 of 34
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Childhood obesity must stay high on political agenda

ON Wednesday, 3 July 2019, Damien Moore MP attended an event in Parliament to support calls for the new Prime Minister to push on with plans to reduce childhood obesity. The event was organised by the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of over 40 leading charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups, to mark the 1 year anniversary of chapter 2 of the Government's Childhood Obesity Plan. MP's in attendance heard from obesity experts about a scorecard detailing progress made in 2018, which sees the majority of vital policies stalled at the amber lights. The Government has held 12 week consultations on banning the sale of energy drinks to children, mandatory calorie labelling in cafes, restaurants and takeaways, restricting unhealthy food promotions and introducing a 9pm watershed on unhealthy adverts on TV and online. The 1st 2 consultations were closed by December, but 7 months on, nothing further has been heard. In addition, the Government missed their own deadline to launch their promotions and marketing consultations before the end of the 2018, meaning progress has been pushed back several months. Speaking at the event, Damien Moore MP said:- "Every child has the right to grow up healthy and it's the role of Government to create an environment that supports this. I support Obesity Health Alliance calls for Government to fully implement the proposals in Chapter 2 of the Childhood Obesity Plan without further delay."

At the event, MPs also heard about new polling data which showed that:-

69% agree the new Prime Minister should continue to prioritise reducing childhood obesity.

► 86% agree childhood obesity is a serious problem.

► 76% say they are supportive of Government action to reduce levels of childhood obesity.

► 80% say they are worried about the impact of obesity on NHS resources.

Caroline Cerny, Obesity Health Alliance Lead, said:- "It's great to see MPs pledging to support Obesity Health Alliance calls for obesity to remain a Government priority. With the current political climate, progress has been slower than we'd have liked. The Government now needs to get on and make sure child-friendly policies such as a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on TV and online are brought in as quickly and effectively as possible."

Progress against Government commitments made in chapter 1 of the childhood obesity plan (published in August 2016) is also a mixed bag. While the soft drinks levy has seen major success in reducing sugar from soft drinks, the promised updated School food standards and healthy ratings scheme for School have not yet been bought in.

Local charities urged to apply for up to ₤20K of funding

LOCAL charities and community groups are being encouraged to apply for funding of up to ₤20,000 from a pot worth over ₤3 million that has been raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery. A wide range of community organisations, from registered charities, to community groups and social enterprises, can apply for grants of between ₤500 and ₤20,000. Applications are open from Wednesday 31 July for 2 weeks, until 14 August 2019. The funding is available through 3 different trusts, all of which are funded by players of People's Postcode Lottery. Each trust supports projects focussed on specific themes:-

People's Postcode Trust wants applications from projects aimed at promoting human rights, combating discrimination and the prevention of poverty.

Postcode Community Trust supports initiatives working to improve the health and wellbeing of communities, including arts and physical recreation projects, as well as those with a focus on reducing isolation.

Postcode Local Trust provides funding to groups that are dedicated to improving outdoor space, in addition to increasing access to it. Groups working on flood prevention measures and looking to implement renewable energy strategies are also eligible to apply.

Over 300 groups were awarded grants earlier this year, with sports groups for military veterans, counselling support services for young carers and sensory gardens for people with dementia among the groups that benefitted. Laura Chow, head of charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said:- "It's not just players who win with People's Postcode Lottery; over ₤3 million in grants will have a tremendous impact on the fantastic work that grass-roots groups are doing in communities across Britain.  Between the 3 trusts, there's scope for a huge array of projects to benefit and I would urge all groups to look at the funding guides and apply."

A minimum of 32% from every People's Postcode Lottery ticket goes directly to good causes. To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over ₤450 million for more than 6,500 good causes across Great Britain and internationally. For more information, to view the funding guides and to apply please visit the trusts' 3 websites directly:-




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