A SCHEME to help obese children in Kirklees has been given a £38,000 cash boost to take its message into schools.
Cobwebs, a charity set up in Huddersfield six years ago to help youngsters cope with the emotional side of being overweight, was handed the money to help educate adults about the problems of being a fat child in school.
Bullying, self-esteem and discrimination are among the topics that will be raised in workshops for teachers and school staff over the next two years.
The grant, from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, will help project workers team up with schools across Kirklees to improve attendance rates and attainment among obese children.
Patricia Sadio, director of the scheme, said: “It is just the constant abuse, and it is not always from the other kids. It can be from grown-ups too, without them realising they are discriminating.
“We want to raise awareness among adults that it can be frightening for the obese child in school.
“Fat kids get bullied and there is an acceptance that that’s how it is, without any thought of what they are going through.
“We know from the presentations we did last year that some schools want to know more about our psycho-social approach so they can bring about an environment that is welcoming for the obese child.
“This fits neatly into the Government’s Every Child Matters agenda.
“Obesity is not going away and we all have a part to play in helping these children fulfil their potential. We would be happy to talk to any Kirklees school to see how we can help.”
The independent Paul Hamlyn Foundation gives grant to organisations to help maximise opportunities for young people to experience a full quality of life, both now and in the future.
Cobwebs does not focus on weight loss. Its work is about encouraging youngsters to develop their social skills to enable them to enjoy happy childhoods.
Schools are invited to contact Cobwebs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about the workshops.