City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council: Year 2 (July-October 2020) update

The Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme is funded by the Department and Health and Social Care and administered by the Local Government Association. Public Health England also providing expert support and advice The Trailblazer will harness the potential of Islamic Religious Settings (IRS) and their communities as levers to tackle the cultural, and structural drivers of ethnic inequalities in childhood obesity in Bradford. The Trailblazer will harness the potential of Islamic Religious Settings (IRS) and their communities as levers to tackle the cultural, and structural drivers of ethnic inequalities in childhood obesity in Bradford.


Progress

  • Planned a new digital coproduction methodology to continue work on producing contents for the trailblazer toolkit.

    • our small groups are producing contents on encouraging obesity prevention behaviours. Contents are given to the members of digital place-based groups for first test and learn for their delivery. Once feedback and commentary are received, these contents go back to the small groups for further refinement.
  • Re-organised toolkit development team and defined roles of team members.
  • Created five small groups working on producing toolkit contents on the themes:¬†1) physical activity, 2) healthy diet, 3) organisational changes, 4) Islamic narrative, and 5) behaviour change techniques.
  • Organised three digital place-based groups at three IRS in Bradford comprising of Islamic leaders, parents of children attending madrassa, IRS staff, community members and our Trailblazer Community Engagement Manager.
  • Identified three¬†locally embedded experts who have years of experience in delivering health promotion in religious settings. These individuals are part of designing contents of the toolkit and facilitating test and learn delivery of toolkit sessions to train IRS staff and community members.
  • Started conversation on how to involve IRS to become part of mainstream ongoing obesity prevention programmes in Bradford District as stakeholders.
    • Supported two in a competitive process of application for funding aiming at health promotion (JUMP awards).
  • Presented at South Asian Heritage Month in August 2020.
  • Shared our trailblazer learning with PHE and emphasised the need to co-produce localised, tailored and targeted messages for communities badly hit by COVID-19.
  • Presented our learning on opting for whole-system approach that includes solutions for diverse/disadvantaged obese populations on the Morning on Breakfast show with BBC Radio Leeds to discuss government's anti-obesity plan.

Learnings

  • Flexible and adoptable methodologies of engaging with communities can help adjust a force majeure like COVID-19. Our digital co-production methodology has been very helpful so far.
  • We learned that IRS are taking a very cautious approach in opening up after COVID-19 lockdown. Hence, we need to adjust and adapt our community engagement activities on their pace rather than following the timeline of our programme plans.
  • Behaviour change in organisations like IRS is a continuous and long-term process of reciprocal engagement. We enabled two based groups to become part of mainstream health promotion programmes (JUMP Awards). It was the first time these organisations entered into a competitive process of application for funding aiming at health promotion. This should not be a one off and we need to find more opportunities of funding and keep encouraging our community partners to keep applying for those.