Partners from various sectors in Bradford converged at City Hall on Wednesday, March 20, to mark the achievements of the inaugural three years of the Reducing Inequalities in Communities (RIC) Schools programme. Moreover, they gathered to glean insights into its evolution into the facilitated Living Well Schools initiative.

The RIC programme engaged 30 schools across the district, where facilitators collaborated closely, aiding schools in enhancing physical activity throughout the school day, nurturing emotional well-being and mental health, and advocating sustainable, nutritious diets.

The Banqueting Suite at City Hall witnessed representatives from several RIC schools, health providers, stakeholders, and members of the Public Health team. The atmosphere buzzed with a ‘marketplace’ of stalls and enlightening presentations. Emily Fieldhouse, the Living Well Schools Coordinator and spearhead of the RIC Schools programme, along with various facilitators, shared their experiences.

Councillor Sue Duffy, Portfolio Holder for Children & Families, Living Well at Bradford Council said; “It was fantastic to attend the Reducing Inequalities in Communities schools’ event and to see examples of how the programme has made a difference to the health and wellbeing of children attending schools in parts of the district where we know they may face a variety of health inequalities. Ensuring our children and young people are healthy and happy is a key ambition within our new Children and Young People’s Strategy and tackling inequalities is our main objective as we continue working to create a more child-friendly district”.

The triumphant implementation of the facilitated RIC schools model has empowered Bradford Council to secure funding for the development of Living Well Schools, a robust healthy schools programme. This initiative aims to amalgamate evidence-based providers and resources to foster health-centric school environments.

The inaugural phase entails transitioning RIC schools into Living Well Schools, with approximately 35 new schools slated to join in September 2024. This endeavour is set to proliferate across the district. Living Well Schools will amalgamate quality-assured service providers and resources tailored to each school’s unique profile, ensuring holistic support for children’s physical health, mental well-being, and nutrition needs.