My Heart Beats for Brent Campaign launched

My Heart Beats for Brent’ is a new campaign aimed at getting those members of the community who take part in no moderate intensity sport or physical activity for at least 30 minutes to be more active and is inspired by the many Brent residents who already demonstrate a real affection for the facilities; classes; parks; open spaces and clubs in Brent.

The campaign message is “exercise somewhere you love for just 30 minutes a day” and focus on small changes you can make no matter your age or ability to improve your fitness.    The campaign is being delivered in response to the high levels of obesity in the borough. Half of the population in Brent is overweight and an estimated one in five of our population is obese. It will target both adults and children.

On 22 September we will launch ‘My heart beats for the Daily Mile’ which encourages school children to walk up to a mile in 15 minutes each school day (during their lunch/break time).    ‘My Heart Beats for Brent’ was launched on national fitness day (Wednesday 7 September) in conjunction with Tottenham Hotspur football club.

England and Spurs star’s Harry Kane and Eric Dier visited Wembley to promote the campaign along with the ‘Spurs Nurse’ who carried out free health checks to members of the public and gave out information about how to keep active in the borough.

Keep up to date with the campaign here.

Brent parents can benefit from free childcare

Did you know that some 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 years olds in Brent can access 15 hours of free childcare?

Also known as ‘free early years education’ or the ’15 free hours scheme’, this government grant entitles all 3 and 4 year olds to 15 hours of free early education each week for 38 weeks of the year (equivalent to school term time).

The entitlement starts from the beginning of the school term immediately following the child’s 3rd birthday and continues until the end of the school term, before they are eligible to start primary school. For example, if a child turns 3 in February, their entitlement would start from the beginning of the summer term in April.

You can use this funding at most private day nurseries, pre-schools, children’s centres or with some childminders – make sure that they offer funded places before you enrol.

Eligible 2 year olds can also access 15 hours of free childcare education and the eligibility criteria can be found at www.brent.gov.uk/41526.

For more information on free early education for 3 & 4 year olds and to see if your 2 year old is eligible, contact us on 020 8937 2462 and neg2@brent.gvo.uk. Also see www.brent.gov.uk/neg.

Public meeting on Health and Social Care services in Brent

You are invited to a public meeting and workshop to discuss plans for the health and care system. The five year plan is a collaboration between Brent CCG, Brent council and NHS providers in the borough.

The event will take place on Monday 26 September from 6.30pm at Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ

Last year the government outlined a new approach to help ensure that health and care services were built around the needs of local populations. To do this, every health and care system in England was asked to produce a multi-year plan.

We want to turn that process around and engage with people to see what they want locally in Brent.

To develop and deliver plans locally, 44 ‘footprint’ areas throughout the country were established by NHS England. Brent sits within the North West London (NWL) footprint which is being coordinated by the NWL group of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The plans are being developed in partnership with the eight Local Authorities and NHS providers in the area.

Residents’ opinions’ are absolutely key to the successful development and delivery of Brent’s plan, especially in delivering the long-term outcomes we want to achieve for our patients and the wider public. The development of future services that will better enable this vision to become a reality will rely on strong and consistent patient and public engagement throughout the process.

In order to hear your views, I encourage all to come along to the event on Monday 26 September.

Have your say on changes to Parliamentary boundaries

A twelve week consultation has been launched by the Boundary Commission for England for residents to have their say on proposed parliamentary boundary changes.

The proposals see a reduction in the number of constituencies in London. The reduction will see the 73 MPs who serve in London reduced to 68. The plans are part of reforms which would see a loss of 50 constituencies across the country and therefore a reduction of 50 MPs serving in the House of Commons.

Four of the proposed constituencies include parts of Brent:

  • Kenton – the Brent wards of Barnhill, Fryent, Kenton and Queensbury plus five Harrow wards
  • Queen’s Park and Regent’s Park – the Brent wards of Kilburn and Queen’s Park plus nine wards in the City of Westminster
  • Wembley and Harrow on the Hill – the Brent wards of Alperton, Northwick Park, Preston, Sudbury, Tokyngton and Wembley Central plus three Harrow wards
  • Willesden – the Brent wards of Brondesbury Park, Dollis Hill, Dudden Hill, Harlesden, Kensal Green, Mapesbury, Stonebridge, Welsh Harp and Willesden Green plus one Hammersmith and Fulham ward

The proposals do not affect council wards or councillors. The proposals do not make much sense at all and will just make MP and Council interactions even more complicated. The mish mash of wards split between different Council seats and MP constituencies are mind boggling!

If you would like more information or to respond to the consultation, please visit www.bce2018.org.uk.

It’s Time to Talk About Hate Crime, Thursday 21 July

Hate crime is the initial focus of a new series of public meetings which aim to tackle difficult issues in our community.

Taking place on 21 July, the hate crime event is part of the Council’s wider ‘It’s Time to Talk’ campaign which aims to empower residents and community leaders to talk about difficult issues and work together with the authorities to tackle them. Important challenges such as hate crime, child sexual exploitation, extremism, gang culture, domestic abuse and harmful practices are all expected to be discussed at separate events throughout the year.

The event on 21 July has a number of high-profile speakers attending, including Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy – Centre for Hate Studies, Stephen Brooks MBE – Coordinator of the Disabled Hate Crime Network and special guest keynote speaker – creative pioneer Samuell Benta. Topics such as what exactly a hate crime is, how big the problem is in Brent and the role of social media in the context of hate crime, will be discussed.

Please do come along. To book a free ticket, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/its-time-to-talk-hate-crime-tickets-25991098074.

Neasden Community Festival on Saturday 9th July 11am to 4pm at St Catherine’s Church

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We have been busy working with the Church and Daniel’s Estate Agent to put together this community festival event. We have stage performances lined up for the day and stalls so feel free to come along and celebrate with us.

Chalkhill Primary School join the Slash Sugar campaign

Chalkhill Primary School has recently introduced ‘Sugar Free Tuesdays’ whereby all food, drinks and snacks eaten on Tuesdays should be free of refined sugar.

Our Public Health team recently visited the school in Wembley to witness the campaign in action and got the chance to speak to a range of pupils from year 2 to year 6 about Sugar Free Tuesdays and other healthy lifestyle initiatives.

Pupils explained that on Tuesdays they swap sugar found in sweets and fizzy drinks for natural sugar from fruits instead. For example desserts such as custard and cake have been swapped for fruit salad. ‘The Crunch’ (the school’s canteen) make their own tomato ketchup as branded versions can contain more than one teaspoon of sugar per teaspoon portion.

As well as Sugar Free Tuesdays, the pupils are given healthy lifestyle tips at weekly assembly, educated about portion control and the tuck shop only sells healthy snacks such as fruit, homemade banana cake, fruit cups and crackers on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The money made from the tuck shop goes towards free healthy snacks for Key Stage 2 pupils as currently the government only funds free healthy snacks for Key Stage 1 pupils and the school believes that no one should miss out.

When asked what was important for a healthy diet pupil’s responded with the following answers: 60 minutes of exercise a day; swap sugar for healthier options instead; drink more water; eat a balanced diet; eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day; and check the labels of food for any hidden nasty’s.Slash Sugar

Karima Peerwani, Assistant Head Teacher said:

“As a healthy school we engage with both the pupils and parents because it is important that the hard work we do at school continues at home. We host healthy packed lunch workshops and give out prizes for children who pack healthy options. We display information about the risks of eating too many sugary snacks on our notice boards and our elected etiquette inspectors promote making healthy food choices and drinking plenty of water.”

Well done to all the pupils and staff at Chalkhill for embracing Sugar Free Tuesdays. It’s a scheme that I hope all schools across Brent will consider.

Brazil to Brent exhibition opens up at Willesden Library

The Olympic Games open in the Brazilian city, Rio de Janeiro this summer, and at home in Brent, an exciting new exhibition called Brazil to Brent opens in the Exhibition Space on the second floor at The Library at Willesden Green.brazil flag

The exhibition asks what it means to be Brazilian in Brent. Julia Evangelista, is an artist working with Brent Museum and Archives to develop the exhibition:

“Well, the whole point of this project was to give Brazilians a chance to celebrate themselves, and to say in their own words what it means to be Brazilian.

“One of the most important things that the people we talked to stressed was the diversity of Brazil, many emphasised that there are numerous sub-cultures, and much more to the country than just samba and carnival.

“A theme that came up again and again was the importance of community. In Brazil, people spend a lot of time together. It’s a very inclusive society, from the many games and sports that we play, that involve the young and the old, to the music, and the food we eat, we do things with other people and build ties this way. Relationships are very important.

“I would encourage everyone to come along and have a look at what’s going on at this exhibition. It is very much a collaborative project, which will grow from people’s input.

“Between July and September this year there will be a chance to try dance, music, listen to stories, and attend a family workshop and even puppetry. Everyone is welcome and we really hope to see many people taking part, getting to know the people they live and work amongst.”

Brazil to Brent is being developed by Brent’s Heritage team, in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and Brazilian artist, Julia Evangelista, from Seethrough Theatre.

The exhibition and workshops run from 1 July to 18 September 2016.

Email museum.archives@brent.gov.uk for more information.