SEAL Community Health Project

Last November SEAL were fortunate to receive a Bakers Award for £984. This was to be used towards running our Fruit Barra which supports young people and frail elderly to eat healthily in our community. 

Over the past six months the 24 week pilot has gone very well with 15 young people regularly taking part and this has now been completed.  The community have welcomed the service with around 45/50 people coming each week. The fruit barras widened knowledge of fresh produce and the young people also looked at budgeting, hygiene, balanced meals and provided simple recipes to try out new ideas, which boosted confidence and helped them while serving the public.   The young people were supporting and contributing to the fruit barras each week and it gave them increased responsibility and raised skills and knowledge. Our frail elderly in the area benefitted greatly by having a weekly delivery of fresh produce directly to their doors and easy access for those resident in the surrounding area.  From experience working in this area over many years we have increasingly been told that people are finding it more difficult financially. The present economic climate often leads them to purchase unhealthy convenience foods, which are cheap but often high in sugars, saturated fats and salt. To encourage use of fruit and vegetables the young people used blenders to make smoothies an also made up fruit cups, for local people to sample and perhaps try new ways to consume some of the five a day recommendations.

The fruit barras encourage behavioural change in relation to improving health and wellbeing.  They break down barriers to accessing fresh produce and offer opportunities for meeting weekly, creating a community hub, with people of different age groups and ethnic backgrounds interacting and sharing skills and experiences. Literature on other health topics promoting a healthy lifestyle i.e. smoking cessation, drug/alcohol awareness, benefits of taking more exercise etc. is available to pick up.

Outcomes from evaluation:

  • 88 people understanding of the importance of good nutrition.
  • 80 people cooking fresh produce from scratch.
  • 92 people reporting improvement in their diet
  • 15 volunteers strengthening skills and confidence in handling fresh food
  • 32 Increased awareness of other health issues affecting the community.

 The project would like to thank the Incorporation of Bakers for their generous award.