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Will you rise to Harold’s Challenge ?

Date: Apr 29 2013

Life Education Wessex is a brilliant local charity which provides vital education to children in local schools. It teaches children in helping children make healthy choicesDevon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset, aged between 3 – 13 about health and food, and the risks associated with drinking alcohol, smoking and taking drugs in an age appropriate format.

In April it launched a brand new fundraising initiative, ‘Harold’s Challenge’. I’m doing my bit to help this charity by giving them my time and expertise to promote the challenge as well as undertaking a challenge for them later this year.

They asked me to help them to define their initiative, plan and prepare the communications needed to promote Harold’s Challenge. We wanted to make the challenge something everyone could take part in. It’s so easy to get involved and do your bit. ‘Harold’s Challenge’ invites anyone and everyone to take part, raise some money and do something active and healthy.

You can find out more in the launch press release below:

Will you rise to Harold’s Challenge ?

Be active, be healthy, be happy, that’s the message from Life Education Wessex as it invites everyone to rise to Harold’s Challenge and help raise £50,000.

Today (Thursday 18 April) the charity launched its fundraising programme to encourage anyone to join in and raise vital funds to

Harold's challengelaunch pic

help make a real difference to children’s health and well-being. The charity needs to raise £240,000 annually to provide this education across the Wessex region.

Harold, is the charity’s puppet character used in classrooms to engage with young children about health and food, and the effects of drinking, smoking and taking drugs. Harold is a familiar face for local school children.

Lorraine Hewitt, fundraising manager explained: “Harold has set the challenge to us all to complete one or more challenges to help Life Education Wessex reach its target of 1,000 individual challenges or to raise £50,000 in the coming 12 months.

“You can do anything to take part in Harold’s challenge, so long as it’s active and healthy. So whether you like to run, swim, jump, walk, ride a bike, play golf, or just want to invite your friends round for a healthy charity dinner, there’s a way you can easily raise money for Life Education Wessex.”

To register your interest in taking up a challenge or just to find out more about Life Education Wessex  www.lifeeducationwessex.org.uk


Notes to editors

Why does Life Education Wessex provide this education?

Recent research with school children who’ve experienced life education demonstrates the programme’s exceptional success rate: 87% of children knew more about keeping healthy.  83% recognised how their emotions and needs change in different situations, 91% understood how others influence the choices they make about smoking, alcohol and other drugs and 76% reported they had learned to be more assertive.

With over 60% of adults and 30% of children in the UK considered to be overweight or obese and the rise in illnesses and diseases caused by poor diets, alcohol, and less active life styles there is a real need for change. Whilst statistics show that drug use is falling gradually, figures from Manchester University suggest that a staggering 47% of 17 to 18 year olds have used an illegal drugs. The damage that drug use and addiction can have is lasting and full rehabilitation is really difficult to achieve, therefore education is key to our children’s future health and well-being.

What does Life Education Wessex do?

The charity teaches children to make informed and healthy choices as they grow up about alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and food as well as the importance of sleep, exercise and feelings. They also help pupils to aquire life skills and learn to be assertive to help them cope with bullying and peer group pressure. Their specially trained Educators provide lessons adapted for the age of the children from age 3 to 13 years.  Visiting 60,000 children every year it works across the Wessex region covering Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset. Life Education Wessex visits schools once a year and provides education that grows with the children, building upon the previous year’s knowledge. It’s amazing how much the children learn and retain.

How much does it cost?

Annually the charity needs to raise £240,000 to deliver the education service across the region. The charity does not receive any government funding for this education and so it relies completely on the support of the community and it’s fundraising to raise this sum and provide the 50% of the cost of delivery, while participating schools provide part of the funding.

In a day a Life Education Educator can reach four classes of children, so in the region of 120 children.  Each school generally books visits once a year and so each child receives the education as they grow up, reinforcing the be active, be happy, and be healthy message.

About Life Education Wessex

  • Life Education Wessex is an independent charity and a recognised Delivery Partner of the UK’s leading health and drug education programme Coram Life Education. Every year our specially trained educators help around 60,000 young children (aged 3 – 13) across the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Hampshire to make positive healthy choices.
  • As well as building links with local schools and teachers, Life Education Wessex engages with parents/carers and the wider community to promote personal, social and health education and ensure that the messages the children learn are backed up at home.
  • The education programme has been created by child development experts and is delivered by qualified educator in specially-designed mobile classrooms (for the younger children). Coram Life Education has been established in the UK for over 20 years and is an internationally respected provider of evidence-based drugs and health education.
    • Research has repeatedly shown (nida.nih.gov) that reaching children early on, at primary school, with vital messages on drug awareness is by far the most effective way of preventing drug use in later life.
    • Coram Life Education is part of the Coram group whose expert services include adoption, creative therapies, supported housing, family support and promoting children’s rights.
  • Coram Life Education and its Delivery Partners reach 800,000 children every year in over 3,500 primary and secondary schools, teaching life skills to children aged 3 – 16 years old through fun, interactive and age-specific activities.