HEALTH AND WELLBEING: The National Health Award

Facilitated by Elaine Cochrane, Health Promotion Officer, NHS Forth Valley

Originally launched by NHS Forth Valley in 2018, the Natural Health Award (NHA) is now expanding from its beginnings in the Stirling area to across the entire Forth Valley region.

Believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland, the NHA It is focussed on increasing physical activity by getting children outside and connecting with the natural environment. It’s an on-going commitment to continually include activities that involve children being active, physically moving around, getting outside, exploring nature and learning through doing, being and playing.

The award is based on ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, which is the wellbeing equivalent of ‘getting your five a day’. Setting out evidence-based messages that describe five simple ways we can give our wellbeing a boost, they aim to prompt us into thinking about those things in life which are important to wellbeing and could be included in our everyday routines.

By nature, childminders are flexible and adaptable, making their settings the perfect place to encourage more everyday physical activity through outdoor play, learning from your surroundings and natural environment, whilst providing the opportunity to instil the importance of being healthy and active, through day-to-day fun engaging activities for children.  The Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy, which was launched in March 2017, states “being active is good for mental wellbeing” and sets out an ambition that all care settings should support all aspects of wellbeing, including emotional and physical health.

The workshop will focus on the Award and how childminders are taking a spotlight role in promoting the positive effects of being active on children’s physical and mental health, and their overall wellbeing.