What is the Healthier Place, Healthier Future Trailblazer?


What is the Healthier Place, Healthier Future Trailblazer?

Find out about the project taking a system-wide approach to transforming food environments

Healthier Place, Healthier Future (HPHF) is one of five Childhood Obesity Trailblazer programmes funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and delivered by the Local Government Association. The programme was a commitment made in the Childhood Obesity Plan; Chapter 2 published in June 2018.



What is the trailblazer programme?

This trailblazer programme is a three-year programme which asks councils to lead innovative action in their local community to tackle childhood obesity. Trailblazer authorities are supported by government experts, subject matter expertise, delivery support and evaluation support. The trailblazer aims to:

  • Test the limits of existing powers through innovative and determined action to tackle childhood obesity.
  • Share learning and best practice to encourage wider local action.
  • Develop solutions to local obstacles and consider further actions government can take to enable ambitious local action and achieve change at scale.

Food Active were commissioned by Pennine Lancashire Consortium of Local Authorities to support the intense twelve-week discovery phase in early 2019 which saw thirteen local authorities working to make the final five. Since October 2019 Food Active have been supporting Pennine Lancashire’s Healthier Place, Healthier Future programme working closely with colleagues across the footprint. The Pennine Lancashire consortium comprises of seven local authorities (Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and Lancashire), including one unitary, one upper tier and five district councils. The project itself consists of many partners, from youth centres to food organisations. The project is being rolled out across Pennine Lancashire from October 2019 until Summer 2022.



Making Pennine Lancashire a Healthier Place

This project works towards improving the health and wellbeing of Pennine Lancashire from a top up and bottom down perspective. Currently, 50% of Pennine Lancashire’s districts are in the top 15 for hot food takeaways. The prevalence of childhood obesity between Reception and Year 6 more than doubles for 66% of the wards in Pennine Lancashire. Furthermore, 20% of the wards have more that 40% of children living in poverty. This reflects on the need for the transformation of our environments to support us to live healthier, more positive food environments.

Healthier Place, Healthier Future is taking both a top-down and bottom-up approach by:

  • Working with system leaders to engage and inspire action to support healthy weight and more broadly the health and wellbeing agenda
  • With food businesses to encourage a healthier offer and to provide business support in return.
  • With planning authorities to support a healthier place by aligning policy across the districts and working with the system to use planning to support public health.
  • With the community to make sure what we are doing meets the needs of our Pennine Lancashire residents, giving them the opportunity to drive change and push for a healthier, accessible, and affordable food environment.



Discovering Opportunities to Support a Healthy Weight

The Childhood Obesity Trailblazer gives the opportunity for local authorities to support and test strategies which support healthy weights and reduce levels of childhood obesity. The project takes a systemwide approach harnessing the power of four levers: system leadership, business engagement and support, positive planning possibilities and community-led action through social movements.


Effective System Leadership

We will work with Elected Members across Pennine Lancashire to be informed and empowered to advocate for the Healthy Weight Declaration to be adopted by all local authorities. The project will support Elected Members by developing a Health and Wellbeing Forum for learning and development. The programme will adapt and embed #Darwengetshangry in localities, led by Pennine Lancashire’s Youth MPs, Deputies and school councils to raise the profile of food for health, support food establishments engaged with Recipe 4 Health (R4H) and drive demand for healthy affordable food.


Business Engagement

Pennine Lancashire will have a network of empowered food businesses providing healthy and affordable food by signing up to the Recipe 4 Health scheme. Businesses, in return, will receive a package of support which enables them to grow their business and in turn boost the local economy. Pennine Lancashire will therefore benefit from socially responsible food outlets who contribute to the health and wellbeing of the community it serves.


Utilising Positive Planning

We will use a positive approach to planning regulation which actively promotes a healthier food environment in all our districts. Each Borough in Pennine Lancashire will have a complementary Planning for Health SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) which improves access to healthier food.


Starting a Social Movement

We will empower local communities across Pennine Lancashire who will drive the demand for healthier food. Young people in Pennine Lancashire will be at the forefront of driving this change to influence both the out of home and home food environments. The project will link communities to existing social movements such as ‘Keep Blackburn Tidy’,  ‘Breast Intentions’ and #darwengetshangry to support this drive for healthier food.


During the project we will release free resources on the website, accessible whether you are a local planner, school or community group. Are you interested in joining our campaign for a better food environment to support our health and wellbeing? Sign up to the Healthier Place, Healthier Future newsletter here and follow the project updates on Twitter to see where you can get involved.


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