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Crawley school among more than 50 others helping children stay healthy and boosting wellbeing

More than 50 schools across West Sussex are already enjoying the benefits of taking part in The Daily Mile, and are now calling upon those schools who haven’t signed up to give the daily fitness challenge a try.

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Pupils at Our Lady Queen of Heaven school in Crawley

The Daily Mile sees children run, jog or walk – at their own pace – outside in the fresh air with their friends. Taking place in just 15 minutes, most children average a mile, or more, each day, with no set up, tidy up or equipment needed.

As well as being social, non-competitive and fun, it can help to improve fitness, achieve a healthy weight and boost emotional wellbeing.

Megan Kerrigan, PE Leader at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Primary School in Crawley, said:

“We decided to introduce The Daily Mile into our school because it’s a great, fun way to increase fitness in our children. We noticed many of our children had little to no stamina during PE lessons and some children didn’t even know what it was like to get out of breath. 

“Many children in our school haven’t got the opportunities to participate in clubs outside of school and therefore, we decided it was a good idea to try to increase their physical activity within school, along with the government recommendation so we introduced The Daily Mile. 

“It has been a great way to increase fitness, enjoyment of exercise and focus within class. In a teacher survey recently, all teachers said that The Daily Mile has shown an improvement in the focus of the children and is a great way to help children to become more alert in the afternoon when they have become ‘sluggish’. I have noticed that the children in my class are learning how to pace themselves and all of them enjoy going out to do The Daily Mile and seem to enjoy the running. It has been brilliant to get children feeling fit and increase their alertness in school.”

Jane Towey is the Leader for PE at Leechpool Primary School in Horsham.
She said:


“We have been running the Daily Mile consistently for most of this academic year, and many of our staff and children can boast about the benefits – often the children are asking when they will get to do it and really pushing themselves to get further each time.  

“Some of our KS1 children have really benefitted from the opportunity to get out and get active – this has enabled them to become better learners and focus much more readily on the tasks set in class.”

Penny Wojcik is the PE Leader at St. Richard’s Catholic Primary School in Chichester.

She explained that The Daily Mile was popular with pupils, with one year 3 child telling her:

“The mile run not only keeps you fit but gives our brain time to sort out the things we have done in the day and it gives us a break from our work! I enjoy the run because it is a time to run with friends!” 

But it isn’t just the pupils who were benefiting. Penny said:

“We also have three teachers who were inspired to do a mini triathlon and have chosen to keep up the running and are taking part in park runs and a 10k.

“I also ran the London Marathon this year and we got the children involved with fundraising for charity by giving a whole school challenge of ‘how many miles could we all run in a day’ with each class running for 20 minutes. It was a great success and lots said that The Daily Mile helped them to sustain their running and not give up!”    

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“It is wonderful to hear so many positive comments from our schools about the benefits of getting outside and enjoying the fresh air while being active.

“I am delighted that so many schools have already signed up to take part in The Daily Mile, and I would urge any schools who have not yet done so to consider the real benefits of taking part.”

For more information on The Daily Mile and how to sign up visit www.thedailymile.co.uk

Health & Wellbeing

FREE water refills now available at Three Bridges Station as retailers join campaign

33 retailers at Govia Thameslink Railway stations have committed to a campaign to reduce single-use plastic bottle by offering free tap water refills for passengers.

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It’s National Refill Day today (Wednesday 19 June) which is a public awareness day to mark the campaign, designed to reduce single-use plastic bottles by encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle and refill on the go.

Part of the campaign is highlighting where members of the public can find free drinking water through the Refill app, with GTR’s Environment team signing up 33 retailers across the rail operator’s stations to support the project.

GTR’s Environment team has been working with staff members that serve as Area Champions for the Environment (ACEs) to encourage tenants at stations to join the campaign.

On the Southern network, Runaway Café in Lewes and the N+1 Bike Centre and Café at Brighton have signed up to the scheme.

On the Thameslink route, AMT Coffee at St Albans has joined; Caffe Kimbo and La Baguette Parisienne, both at Luton station, have also signed up.

Samantha Lear, Environment Manager for Govia Thameslink Railway, said:

“GTR is supporting Refill to help reduce plastic waste, an important issue which needs action on a personal as well as national level. We are so pleased to see so many of our retailers sign up as refill points with our teams of ACEs and hope that many more will follow soon.”

With the campaign research showing that 71% of people feel uncomfortable asking for free tap water when not making a purchase, Refill log all participating retailers on their app so that consumers can find the closest shop, cafe or restaurant taking part in the scheme.

According to Refill, if 1 in 10 people in Britain refilled a bottle rather than buying a single use plastic bottle just once a week, around 340 million plastic bottles would be saved each year.

Natalie Fee, Founder at City to Sea, said:

“We’re really pleased that GTR are part of the Refill Revolution this National Refill Day! Their support makes it even easier for everyone to find free drinking water when travelling – meaning we can all save money and save the planet from plastic pollution in one go! People from all walks of life are carrying a reusable bottle now and with GTR making it easier for people to Refill, we’re rapidly doing away with the need to buy planet-polluting plastic bottled water!”

The campaign is a partnership between Refill and Water UK run by City to Sea with additional support from the English water companies, Chilly’s Bottles, Robeco and the Mayor of London.

Refill estimates that the project will save more than 100 million single-use bottles from entering the waste stream by the end of 2019.

Retailers at the following Govia Thameslink Railway stations have signed up to the scheme:

Epsom

Luton

Luton Airport Parkway

Bedford

St Albans

Brighton

Lewes

Blackfriars

Three Bridges

East Croydon

Letchworth Garden City

Seaford

Berwick

Peterborough

St Neots

Littlehampton

West Hampstead Thameslink

Elephant & Castle

City Thameslink

New Cross Gate

Flitwick

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com

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