Creating A WAVE: Shaping Healthier Futures For Children And Young People In South Canterbury NZ

"There is strong evidence that health promotion in schools can improve children’s health and wellbeing. WAVE (Wellbeing and Vitality in Education) is unique to South Canterbury, New Zealand, and is based on a dramatic expansion of health promotion in education settings across the province. In 2017 WAVE celebrates 10 years since its inception of working in partnership with health, education and the community across all 96 education settings in the district, with a total student population of approximately 16,000. WAVE’s stated vision is “supporting our children and young people to learn well and be well”. Key aims are: Working in partnership to achieve outcomes for health and education Addressing key lifestyle issues by focusing on the education setting environment (“making the healthy choice, the easy choice”) Involving children, parents, Māori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) and the community Targeting settings and communities with the highest needs, and Being evidenced-based and carefully evaluated. WAVE has a strong commitment to evaluation which is now undertaken every second year across all settings. This presentation will share the key findings from the 2016 evaluation, learnings from the WAVE journey to date, and the partnership approach for WAVE involving South Canterbury District Health Board, its public health unit Community & Public Health, alignment with Sport Canterbury (regional sports trust), other Non Governmental Organisations and education settings from early childhood to tertiary institutions. Keywords: Schools Early Childhood Health Promotion Partnership Key Messages Strong partnerships and recognition of the needs of all parties are the key to success in health promotion in education. 1. The “facilitator” role provides a vital and valued link and support for education settings. 2. Intersectoral partnerships and change take time. 3. Careful attention to evaluation supports continuous improvement, as well as providing a powerful tool for telling the story of your success. "

Rose Orr