Celebrating Essex’s Healthcare Heroes

This week Healthwatch Essex is launching a competition to encourage schoolchildren across the county to celebrate the people within the health service who have made the biggest difference to their lives. 

The ‘Lively Lives!’ campaign is designed to encourage young people to live active, healthy lifestyles and this year’s competition will ask children to design bunting which features a healthcare professional or a setting that has proved particularly important to them. The campaign, which is run in collaboration with the hospitals and Clinical Commissioning Groups in Essex, as well as Public Health England and Healthy Schools Essex, will highlight the importance of the people within the NHS who care for us and keep us fit and healthy.

The competition coincides with the 70th Birthday of the National Health Service and the winner stands to win £500-worth of activity equipment for their school or club, as well as a chance for their design to feature on the front of Healthwatch Essex’s official birthday promotions. All of the bunting entries will be put on display at hospitals or healthcare settings in Essex from 5th July, so that patients and their families can see the wealth of different experiences that young people have as they engage with healthcare professionals.

Dr David Sollis, CEO of Healthwatch Essex, said:

“People working across the county in health and social care environments make a huge difference to children from all walks of life and, as the National Health Service approaches its 70th birthday, we are hoping to capture some amazing stories of children’s lived experience of those services.

“Our engagement activity with children in Essex has shown that many don’t do the recommended amount of exercise. Inactivity is a major cause of lifestyle-related illnesses and, given that we know active children are more likely to become active adults, introducing children to healthy lifestyles early in their lives is important – both for them as individuals and also to ensure that NHS Services are not over-burdened by preventative illnesses in the future.

“As part of this initiative, we hope that teachers and group leaders will take up the opportunity to use our resources to highlight the vast array of career opportunities within the NHS, how to use NHS services wisely and the importance of healthy living”

**Entries are no longer being accepted for this competition**