Media releases

July 15, 2014

Local organisation addresses the lack of peer-leadership in Esk

The Medibank Community Fund (MCF) has awarded a $19,940 community grant to Somerset Regional Council in south east Queensland.

The grant will fund Somerset Regional Council's "Healthy and Active" program, an adventure based education and peer mentoring initiative targeted towards 60 young people.

The program includes an introductory two day camp followed by a five-day training camp at Stanley River Environmental Education Centre which will cover healthy eating and nutrition, active lifestyles, sports, leadership, teamwork and active citizenship.

Medibank Retail State Manager for QLD, Christopher Staines, said the program embraced the Medibank Community Fund's priorities of promoting healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness -the key selection criteria for the MCF grants program.

"Medibank employees on our Regional Council from across QLD, expressed overwhelming support for Somerset Regional Council's application because their program addresses the prevalence of poor health that leads to obesity and the inherent lack of peer-leadership in the Esk community.", said Mr Staines.

"The Medibank Community Fund grants program supports local, grassroots initiatives that aim to create a lasting and positive impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of people in the community and Somerset Regional Council and its "Healthy and Active" program are doing just that".

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said, the five day training camp equips participants with essential peer-leadership skills and would be delivered with the assistance of Council's youth development officer, library officers and sport and recreational officers.

"The five day camp is where participants will be trained as peer mentors and educators so that when they return home they can run activities, clubs or programs within their schools and communities and promote healthy and active lifestyles," Cr Lehmann said.

About 60 students from three different Somerset high schools, their teachers and six Somerset Regional Council officers will deliver the program.

"Through provision of nutritional information and healthy eating training during the camps, participants will develop a working knowledge of how to eat healthier and how to engage their peers, family and the wider community in conversations about improving their eating habits," he said.

"We anticipate that when each one of our 60 participants go back to their three respective schools they'll be able to transfer their knowledge about nutrition and what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle to 200 young people and their families throughout Esk".

Somerset Regional Council is one of 42 recipients chosen from more than 900 applications across Australia and New Zealand to receive a 2014 Medibank Community Fund grant.


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