Camden Can

Camden Can logo

Tackling obesity in Camden is one of the five priorities in our Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2016–18: Living Well, Working Together.

Camden Can has been set up by the Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives (HWHL) Partnership. A group was created to ensure that Camden is a place where everyone has the opportunity to eat well and be physically active. This partnership is made up of a range of Camden organisations including businesses, voluntary and community sector organisations, the NHS, schools, housing and many more.

Addressing the issue of staying a healthy weight is complex. Evidence suggests that any single intervention is unlikely to work on its own. This is why we’ve created Camden Can. Camden Can is a series of evolving projects to help and inspire people living and working in Camden to eat a healthier diet and be more physically active every day.

These projects are:

The St Pancras and Somers Town Partnership sits within Camden Can, and takes a ward-specific approach to supporting residents to eat well and be active.

Camden Can Innovation Fund

Camden Can Innovation Fund is a one-off grant funding programme that gives local groups and organisations funding to find innovative ways of tackling some of the complex issues behind obesity in Camden.

The thinking behind the Camden Can Innovation Fund is that it should facilitate and support the design, development and evaluation of innovative programmes that work with Camden organisations and residents to help residents lose weight while keeping the Camden community at the heart of everything we do.

For us, ‘innovation’ means creating, developing and implementing practical ideas with a public benefit. Innovative ideas must enable Camden residents to maintain a healthy weight. They must be:

  • new, not just improvements
  • able to be put into action, not just at the drawing board stage
  • useful / practicable

Applications for Innovation Fund projects for the 2018/19 have now closed and successful Innovation Fund projects have been announced. The details of these projects are listed below.

Comoodle

Comoodle is a project that can make a real difference; an online platform that organisations can use to share their resources for local activities so everything gets used more often and by more people. Project manager, Mark White, said: “If a local group needs equipment, or a place to host their club or activity, they can search Comoodle to find what they need. It will help build connections between local people and organisations, making it possible for more activities to take place and saving groups money.

Visit the Comoodle website

DayOld Eats

An innovative social enterprise to give residents access to low-cost fruit and veg boxes using surplus food – complete with recipes to help people get easier access to cheap, healthy food as well as reducing waste. Josephine Liang, director of DayOld, said: “We will be starting with a pilot in one area with the hope of rolling the scheme out across Camden. Many people would like to change their eating habits but they find it too expensive, or just don’t know where to start. Our project will help make healthy eating a reality.”

WacArts

Wac Arts, a charity that runs performing arts and media programmes for young people of all abilities aged five to 26, will be creating a new game to help young people with learning disabilities get more exercise. Chas Mollet, inclusive technology officer, said: “The game will combine physical activity with assistive technology hardware and software. Players will have to exercise to ‘level up’. We will be working with young people to co-create the game. All too often people think of gaming as the opposite of exercise, but our project aims to change their minds.”

Somers Town Community Association

Somers Town Community Association will be working with students from Central Saint Martins College and their local community to create and launch the people’s fruit and veg stall. This will operate as a cooperative to give local people access to affordable fresh food. Sarah Elie, the association’s executive director, said: “Older people, in particular, will benefit. As well as getting a walk they’ll be able to meet and chat to other people, take part in cooking and tasting sessions and be part of the community.”

Onigo

Onigo is creating a new lifestyle activity – digital active games. These immersive experiences are delivered through smartphones in real city parks around the world. In Camden, teams will take part in missions that will take them throughout the borough – think outdoor adventure games like Pokemon Go! The idea is to get users active, meeting new people and exploring outdoors. Director, Arthur Stril, said: “With these digital adventures, hundreds of residents will be able to get out of doors and discover a social and fun way to get active.”

Camden Can Pledge

The Camden Can Pledge is a set of promises made by any organisations, business or group in Camden to make some simple changes that will help people who live and work in the borough lead healthier lives.

Who is the Camden Can Pledge for?

The places we visit or spend our days can hugely influence how we eat and how physically active we are. Camden’s Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives (HWHL) Partnership is promoting the Camden Can Pledge to every organisation and group in Camden, no matter how large or small: businesses, schools, hospitals and offices.

The form the Camden Can Pledge takes for you will depend on your organisation, but the basic principle will always be the same. You promise to support two aims:

  • to make healthy food and drink more affordable and accessible
  • to encourage and enable physical activity

Make your Camden Can Pledge now

Camden organisations that have already committed to a Camden Can Pledge are listed below:

If you have any questions about Camden Can, email camdencan@camden.gov.uk

St Pancras and Somers Town Partnership

The St Pancras and Somers Town Partnership is taking place in the St Pancras and Somers Town ward of Camden from October 2016 to October 2019. It involves stakeholders from a range of sectors including the council, voluntary and community organisations, schools, businesses, health and community leads.

The two main objectives of the partnership are:

  1. To work with community members and wider stakeholders to develop a better understanding of what makes it easy or hard to eat well and be active locally
  2. To use this insight to support a series of changes that make eating well and being physically active an easier option for local residents

We have worked with over 220 residents, in addition to wider stakeholders, to better understand the barriers to increased physical activity and healthy eating. The report we have written provides a specific, local context to national knowledge about healthy weight, and will be used as a framework for action.

Read the St Pancras and Somers Town Partnership report (PDF).

Over the next two years the partnership will develop a series of actions, each of which addressing one or more of the insights described in the report. These will range from small steps (taken by individual groups and organisations) to larger projects with multiple partners.

For more information or If you would like to be involved with the St Pancras and Somers Town Partnership, please contact:

Camden Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme

Let’s make Camden a place where every mum feels welcome to feed her baby!

Many new mums in Camden start out breastfeeding but find themselves stopping before they want to. This can be because they don’t get the right support and feel anxious or uncomfortable breastfeeding their baby when they are out and about.

The scheme has been set up to recognise businesses and organisations that make mums feel welcomed and supported to feed their child whenever they need to. We have also established this scheme to ensure that all employees and volunteers are aware of the Equality Act 2010, which requires them to be aware of their responsibility not to discriminate against mothers who are breastfeeding a child.

Every venue in Camden can help mums to keep breastfeeding for longer by signing up to the Camden Can Breastfeeding Welcome scheme. By signing up mums will know that they will be welcomed and supported in that venue.

If you run a venue that meets the Camden Can Breastfeeding Welcome criteria you can register to become a Camden Can Breastfeeding Welcome venue by registering with the scheme.

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Further information