England & Wales

Creating Healthy Places: a whole system approach to food and active living


With increased pressure on diminishing resources, local authorities need to utilise all the levers at their disposal to improve public health outcomes, while delivering multiple co-benefits.

This seminar will introduce the Creating Healthy Places workshop, which supports the development of systemic (strategic) upstream approaches to preventing obesity in a locality, through a whole system approach.

It will look at how to support populations to maintain a healthy weight while concurrently supporting local businesses and livelihoods, tackling social inequalities, and helping people to live longer, more productive and more independent lives. Particular attention will be given to identifying the benefits of working across service areas and combining effort with other local delivery partners, including NHS Trusts, CCGs and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The seminar will be delivered by a professional facilitator alongside experts from the Soil Association and Sustrans, and will include a lively mix of presentations, facilitated discussions and group exercises designed to equip participants with:

  • new insights into how to take a whole-system and life-course approach to food and active living in a local authority
  • examples of successful local authority and third party interventions in these areas
  • insights into your own local approach and areas for action in relation to your own priorities
  • an understanding of how the Creating Healthy Places workshop could be adapted and used within your locality

This event is accompanied by a manual, which includes examples of practice from across the country and an interactive toolkit to help local authorities review their local approach. 

The programme:

10:00     Coffee and registration

10:30     Introduction

  • Objectives for the day
  • Why this agenda? The local and the national context

11:00     Visioning the possible future – individual and group activity

11:45     Presentation

  • What do we mean by whole system approach?
  • An overview of policy levers and five themes

12:15     Presentation – Introducing the workshop and manual

Lunch 12.30-13.30

13:30     Group activity 1 – five themes exercise

14:10     Presentation and discussion – operating in the real world

14:25     Group activity 2 – influencing and engagement

15:05     Speaker – a local approach


Presentation – lessons learnt from delivering the workshop in localities

15:30     Conclusions, feedback end of formal session

15:40     Tea and informal discussions

16:00   Close

Amanda Donnelly,  Soil Association’s Food for Life James Cleeton, National Projects Co-ordinator, Communities & Volunteers, Sustrans Susan Biddle, Facilitator, Associate of the Royal Society for Public Health
Who should attend?
  • Councillors and local government officers involved in public health, planning, procurement, transport,  adult and children’s services.
  • CCGs & NHS Trusts.
  • Charities & Voluntary bodies