A training programme to help community workers support people across Wales to eat a healthy diet has won a prestigious UK –wide award for promoting the founding values of the NHS.
It provides training and professional support to enable community workers from health, social care and third sector organisations to promote healthy eating and prevent malnutrition by incorporating evidence based, consistent food and nutrition messages into their work.
The ‘Nutrition Skills for Life’ programme, developed by Public Health Dietitians in Wales, won the organisation category of the Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing, in a ceremony in Westminster on Tuesday 15th July 2014.
The Programme has been co-ordinated and managed by Welsh Government’s National Nutrition Training Facilitator, Lisa Williams who is supported and hosted by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. The achievement has been delivered by a network of public health Dietitians funded directly by Welsh Government, a team of which are employed by Cwm Taf University Health Board Dietetic Department.
Shelley Wyer, Cwm Taf Public Health Dietetic Lead, said “we were delighted to have been shortlisted for such an award, but upon hearing the quality and quantity of other candidates, we are overjoyed to have won. To be recognised on a UK wide basis for the positive outcomes our service has produced means a huge amount to staff and service users alike, who continue to work with our most deprived communities to ensure consistent nutrition and health messages are used within all areas of their work”.
Lisa Williams commented “The Nutrition Skills for Life service has developed from over a decade of excellent partnership working with the Welsh Government Public Health Division to develop, pilot and implement a unified nutrition training programme in Wales, accredited by Agored Cymru.”
The ‘Nutrition Skills for Life Programme’ has resulted in an increase in community workers across Wales completing nutrition skills training and enables healthy eating messages to reach far more people than before, and has resulted in improved food provision in a variety of settings.
Judith John, Consultant Dietitian, in Public Health Wales, said, “Providing people with opportunities to develop knowledge of what constitutes a healthy balanced diet and the skills and confidence to prepare it can enable them to make healthy food choices. By training those who work closely with, and understand the needs of local people, the programme successfully supports communities across Wales to learn more about healthy eating and put knowledge and skills into practice. Participants also have the opportunity to gain an accredited qualification, which they really value.”
bevanprize1.jpgOrganisers of the award said “ The ‘Nutrition Skills for Life’ programme is making a real difference to the life chances of people in Wales, through improving uptake of healthy foods and by addressing the wider determinants of health, by enabling people to gain a recognised qualification and potential employment opportunities.”
The Bevan Prize was established to recognise individuals and organisations across the United Kingdom that have made ‘an outstanding contribution to health and wellbeing through their promotion and preservation of the founding values of the NHS and therefore a positive impact on equality of access to healthcare and equality of health outcomes’.
Lisa Williams, the National Nutrition Training Facilitator and programme lead said ‘I am immensely proud of all the hard work and dedication that the staff have put into delivering this service across Wales. The award not only recognises their input but those of the community staff that have benefited from the training and are now supporting their local communities’.