Healthy Movers Programme launches in Dorset

A group of young pre-school children are under a large rainbow coloured fabric circle  being used for a game in a playground. There is an adult supervising, they are smiling and active.
The Healthy Movers programme, designed by the Youth Sport Trust, sets to make a positive impact on the lives of children in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, and throughout the rest of Dorset following its local pilot in 2021-2022.

The initiative is a collaborative effort between the Youth Sport Trust, Public Health Dorset, Active Dorset and BCP and Dorset Councils Early Years colleagues, aimed at nurturing physical literacy, social, and emotional development in two to five-year-olds. The aim of the programme is to help support children gain a better start in life, creating healthy and active learners. 
To support the roll out, Public Health Dorset has funded this local programme which includes an Early Years Physical Activity Officer role, hosted and supported by Active Dorset. This officer will play a crucial role in training early years practitioners and families with the necessary resources and training. 
In addition, a collection of free digital resources has been created to facilitate continuous engagement with the programme beyond formal settings, enabling participation at home.
Ali Oliver, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
“Government advice says children under five ‘should spend at least 180 minutes a day doing a variety of physical activities, including active and outdoor play’, but unfortunately, research shows only 19% of children are currently meeting this target.  The impact of this is not only felt on children’s physical, social and emotional development, it can also inhibit the speech and language benefits that come from active, playful environments and time engaging with other children.
Healthy Movers is an evidence-based intervention which supports practitioners and parents to prioritise and support play as part of the education and development of children in their early years, and I am delighted and excited to see this vital programme being launched in Dorset and BCP.”
The programme is poised to expand to a range of settings, by piloting the offer to include Family Hubs, Libraries, and Pre-Schools. Approximately 100 settings have already signed up to participate in the programme, each receiving a tailored offering that best suits the needs of the settings, children, and families involved. With training now underway, the Healthy Movers approach is already proving to be popular with practitioners who will deliver the sessions. 

Chloe Goldswain, Senior Health Programme Advisor, Public Health Dorset reflecting on this opportunity for families with young children in Dorset said: 
"We are delighted to support the Healthy Movers programme as provided by the Youth Sport Trust. The initiative represents a significant step towards securing a healthier future for the youth of Dorset, which focuses on the importance of physical and emotional well-being from an early age. The Healthy Movers Programme hopes to make a lasting contribution to the development of healthy and active learners across our county."
Charlotte Coward, Deputy CEO of Active Dorset believes the programme can have a profound impact on the children and young people across Dorset:

“We are excited to be working in partnership with Public Health Dorset and the Youth Sport Trust to roll out the Healthy Movers Programme across Dorset. 

This is the first time Active Dorset has had a dedicated role for Early Years and we are thrilled to have Laura Roberts join the team, who has a wealth of experience of working in early years. We look forward to working with partner organisations across Dorset, supporting children to develop a positive relationship with physical activity in the early stages of their life.”

For further information, please contact: Laura

Published on:
29/11/2023, 14:12