Health & Fitness: Our children are facing a wealth of 21st century 'evils' and they should be at the heart of all decision-making - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Health & Fitness Our children are facing a wealth of 21st century 'evils' and they should be at the heart of all decision-making

23:40  20 october  2019
23:40  20 october  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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a group of people walking down the street © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Children First is a campaign to encourage Government to put children at the heart of all decision-making. In January, The Children’s First campaign launched with a new website - www.childrenfirstcampaign.com and a reception at the House of Commons with an event hosted by Lucy Powell MP.

It had key guest speakers in attendance including, The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield OBE, and CEO of the Royal Society for Public Health, Shirley Cramer and Peter Andre supporting our campaign.

It was a chance for our partners and supporters to join together to share their passion and dedication of putting children first. We want to champion the importance of our children, improve their physical and mental health, push equality and inclusiveness and inspire the potential of the next generations. And I believe that campaigning for a Cabinet Minister will help us to achieve this.

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Understanding that our future generation is worth fighting for and giving them a voice in politics is paramount to Children First, the Water Babies vision. Globally, in 1990, 32 million children between 0-5 years were obese. By 2014, this figure had risen to 41 million. The predicted figure for 2025 is 75 million. That is a truly shocking figure which is completely unacceptable. And we need to act drastically to change this.

Most of the factors that lead to obesity, can be identified before a child is even born (Photo: Shutterstock)

Despite increased awareness of rising mental health issues, the dominance of social media and the obesity crisis, there is still no dedicated person with authority to represent children in our Government. Children aged 0-5 do not have a voice in Parliament; they simply do not exist. We have a Cabinet Minister for Loneliness, but not one for children. This is something which we’re campaigning to change with our petition on the Children First website - www.childrenfirstcampaign.com.

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a young boy brushing his teeth © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

In June, we held a dinner at the House of Lords where we formed the Children First Alliance. This Alliance is made up of a combination of leaders within the health, education and social industries, and will be the driving force behind the campaign alongside Water Babies, and work on pushing our fight forward.

This was also where the creation of the ‘Health of Children and Young People (Wellbeing and Potential’) Bill of Rights was born. A key member of our Children First Alliance is Baroness D’Souza, former leader of the House of Lords, who has been appointed honorary President of the Children First Alliance.

Her dedication and commitment to Children First is paramount, and we’re ecstatic that she’s supporting our cause.

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The campaign is now beginning to capture the imagination of a wide and diverse cross section of organisations across the UK who believe passionately about the principles of harnessing the strength of business to accelerate a cultural, political and societal shift that enhances and elevates the childhood experience throughout the UK.

As we continue to build momentum with our campaign, with our petition nearly reaching 5,000 signatures, and over 160 diverse organisations have already signed up to back the campaign, we are eager to strengthen our political support as well as continuing to strengthen the campaign with our partners and spread wider public engagement with our petition.

Our children are facing a wealth of 21st century “evils” and we hope Children First and our petition will ultimately lead to the appointment of a new Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People, to give children an authoritative voice to help devise solutions to issues such as physical inactivity and rising mental health issues, together.

Steve Franks, CEO of Water Babies and Lead Spokesperson of The Children First Alliance

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