Old Library Trust and Elemental win groundbreaking European bid to tackle childhood obesity using innovative new app

Big Help Project partner with Elemental in a bid to support successful client reablement ‘beyond the gate’
THE STOP CONSORTIUM, SUPPORTED BY TWO KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION COMMUNITIES OF THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY (EIT HEALTH AND EIT FOOD), HAS AWARDED THE OLD LIBRARY TRUST HEALTHY LIVING CENTRE £150,000 TO FUND AN INNOVATIVE NEW PROJECT, AIMED AT TACKLING CHILDHOOD OBESITY.

In addition to the funding, The OLT will benefit from in-kind support and opportunities provided by members of the STOP Consortium and wider partnership, to help them succeed in their project.

SWEET APP Strategic Team, from left are Phil Veasey and Serena Terry, COO, Elemental, Julie White, SWEET Programme manager, OLT, George McGowan, project director, OLT, and Caomhan Logue, Ulster University.
COMBINING KNOWLEDGE, TECHNOLOGY AND THE COMMUNITY

The Old Library Trust has chosen Elemental, to enhance the success of their existing SWEET Project and build and deliver a groundbreaking new app which focuses on educating parents on healthier lifestyles for children and instantly create connections to services and programmes within the community. The app will be underpinned and supported by Elemental’s award-winning social prescribing technology.

“We’re really excited about working with Elemental on this project and combining all the best bits of two already established models. The SWEET Programme has been a huge success to date and the Elemental platform is already leading the way as an innovative solution designed to reduce health inequalities. Their already established functionality will give us the ability to provide a complete wraparound solution to members of the Creggan community and compliment the learning gained throughout their learning journey. Not only that, but Elemental’s platform will allow us to drive person-centred care by giving anyone the ability to refer themselves in to local community activities and interventions.” George McGowan, Project Director, The Old Library Trust HLC

PREVENTION IN YOUR POCKET

Research shows that there is a correlation between deprivation and obesity, with higher levels of childhood obesity occurring in areas where children come from low-income backgrounds.  Studies also show that children aged five and up from the poorest income groups are twice as likely to be obese compared to their most advantaged counterparts and by age 11, are three times as likely to become obese.  

As obesity in young people is an important predictor of obesity in adulthood, The OLT and Elemental are developing an app targeted at educating and informing families in the Creggan Estate with children under the age of five years of age – ​where levels of overweight and obesity are some of the highest in the UK.

Pictured at the Old Library Trust on Friday last for the launch of the innovative new project aimed at tackling childhood obesity are Stephen McGahan, Project Facilitator, Julie White, Programme Manager and Kathleen McNaught, Project Facilitator.

“This is a really exciting project for us that has huge transferable potential. Elemental’s roots are firmly embedded in the communities that benefit from our social prescribing technology, so to get the opportunity to combine the capabilities of our platform with the success of the SWEET Programme and create an innovative new app is an incredible opportunity for us. Especially as we’ll be working closely with the incredible team at The OLT and residents from our own home town.” Serena Terry, COO, Elemental

INTRODUCING THE SWEET APP

The easy to use and interactive SWEET App will be designed to deliver bite-sized, gamified educational content to parents with children under the age of five and will be delivered on a pilot basis to families in the Creggan area of Derry over the next year.

Not only will parents gain knowledge around healthier lifestyles for their children, but they will have the ability to browse and self-refer themselves and their children into locally based community assets (programmes, services, events etc) which focus on obesity prevention and physical activity. 

The SWEET App will be a mobile spin-off from the hugely successful SWEET Programme (S​afe, ​W​ellbeing, E​ating & ​E​xercising ​T​ogether) a family-based childhood obesity Prevention and Management Programme that adopts a community development approach working in the heart of local communities across the Western Health and Social Care Trust area.

Julie White, SWEET Project Manager, Old Library Trust having a look at the new App with three years old Mia Doolin on Friday.

Julie White, SWEET Programme Manager, The Old Library Trust HLC explained the aim of the app and its benefits, commenting: “The aim of the app is to help parents gain the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to help their family adopt a healthier, happier lifestyle and to give their children a great start in life. This mobile app will become a real-time resource that helps parents address potential childhood obesity with a fun, gamified, multimedia experience, which helps them set goals and actions for their children. We’re very grateful to the entire STOP consortium for their support to date and we’re really excited about getting started and being able to make a real impact on tackling obesity within the Creggan community, right across the city and district as a whole and scaling this in a wider European context.”

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Jennifer and Leeann

Someone’s health and wellbeing can be affected by where they live, what they do for a living, their income or their early childhood background experiences. This in turn leads to some stark, and often avoidable health differences.

We founded Elemental to play an active part in halting health inequalities through the social prescribing movement. Our technology helps communities to be better connected, build resilience and bring real precision to the measurement of the impact of community investment.

We work with organisations that want to continue to invest in their communities but want to be much better at measuring impact and outcomes.

We believe this is a powerful route out of health inequality.

CEO & Co-Founder, Jennifer Neff
COO & Co-Founder, Leeann Monk-Ozgul

Jennifer and Leeann

A message from our founders