The Food & Health Project:
Promoting Healthier eating in the Midlands

The Food and Health project is a joint initiative between Westmeath Community Development Ltd and HSE Midlands Area.
The project was originally set up in 1999 and provides nutrition education courses targeted at groups in the community that are cooking on a budget.
Are you interested in:
  • Healthy Eating
  • Cooking on a budget
  • Hosting a practical, fun course, Which is delivered in a user friendly practical way
If so, please contact the Edel or Yvonne at the address below:
Food & Health Coordinator.
Westmeath Community Development,
Ball Alley Lane,
Co. Westmeath
Tel : 09064 94555

A Joint initiative between HSE Midlands and Westmeath Community Development


ACE Schools Programme Supporter

ACE Schools Programme nutrition research project in the community

The ACE (Activity Confidence Eating) Schools Programme is an example of a whole school intervention, focused on promoting four main aspects of health within the school i.e. nutrition, physical activity, mental and dental health. The programme is part of the Health Promoting Schools initiative in the midlands region. The programme aims to encourage schools to develop health promoting environments; making the healthy choice the easier choice for all in the school community. Each school that signs up to the ACE Schools Programme will aim to work towards an award / recognition level of their choice and will be helped supported through out the academic year by the programme’s ACE Schools Supporter. This academic year (2015-2016) the ACE Schools Programme will be rolled out across the 4 counties of the midlands: Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath.

The ACE Schools Programme Supporter:

The researcher will carry out the following tasks:
• Provide support for existing schools in the ACE Schools Programme.
• Provide support for existing ACE Schools to register for the HPS programme.
• Provide training and support for new schools recruited into the ACE Schools Programme through the Health Promoting Schools Programme.
• Liaison with Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service and Health Promoting Schools Officers.
• Development of newsletters for schools throughout the academic year.
• ACE Schools website maintenance throughout the academic school year.
• Recording all information gathered at each school visit and provision of formal reports on school progress.
• Award / recognition level determination in consultation with ACE Schools Programme Team.

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The Healthy Incentive for Pre-Schools (HIP) Project

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Project Supporter advert


The ‘Healthy Incentive for Pre-schools’ (HIP) project is an ongoing child care intervention in the midlands which aims to evaluate pre-schools’ progress through an incentive scheme to improve pre-school nutrition practices in full day care (FDC) pre-schools.  These provide care for children aged 3 months to 5 years for greater than 5 hours per day.  

The project aims to encourage full day care pre-schools to follow best practice in accordance with particular guidelines given to them, over the course of a year, with the help and support of health worker (HIP Supporter) who is trained to facilitate the pre-school in the award process

The HIP Project Supporter recruitment for counties Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath:

The HIP project is currently seeking tenders for the provision of support to midland pre-schools taking part in the HIP project for 2015.

A number of pre-schools currently participate in the programme (26).  The HIP Project supporter’s role is to give pre-schools assistance in their HIP project related work, and their participation in the award submission process, part of this role will be to visit each pre-school and liaise between the pre-school and community health professionals (dietitians).


The Supporter Role:

The Supporter will carry out the following tasks:

  • Visit each school once in the time allotted to the project tender.
  • Spend one full day in each pre-school observing food and health related practice.
  • Observe and collect pertinent and required information from schools using the HIP Project Scored Evaluation Form, Characteristic Collection Form and Detailed Assessment Form.
  • Compile feedback reports for each pre-school visited and provision of verbal feedback by telephone followed with postal report to each pre-school and liaise with the relevant pre-schools and project supervisor before provision of feedback to services. 
  • Attendance at Supporter training and updates as necessary.
  • Gather relevant information regarding pre-schools progress under the awards scheme.
  • All administration and data inputting attached to pre-school visits and award system.
  • Report on progress at regular intervals (as agreed in timeframe).

The Supporter will liaise with WCDL and the Community Nutrition & Dietetic service on a regular basis with regards to their progress with each individual school.

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FREE download - 101+ Square Meals

The food we eat affects our health and well-being, and budget plays an important role in the food we buy and prepare.

This cookery book was designed to take this into consideration and provide easy to prepare, low budget, tasty, yet highly nutritious, meals.

You will also find useful tips and advice on shopping, freezing, cooking for one, food safety and healthy eating.

The coloured tabs allow for easy navigation and recipes can be individually printed out to allow for easy use at home.
We hope you enjoy using this resource. Happy cooking!

101+ Square meals is  supported by MABS, Safefood and the HSE.

Download 101+ Square Meals here (7 MB)

Access the audio version here


Food & Health Programme

Healthy foodAre you interested in:

  • Healthy Eating?
  • Cooking on a budget?
  • Hosting a practical, fun course, Which is delivered in a user friendly practical way?

If so, click here for brochure and if you are interested in doing a course, please contact the Edel or Yvonne at the address below:

Food & Health Coordinator
Westmeath Community Development,
C/O ACT Ball Alley Lane,
Co. Westmeath

Tel : 09064 93906



Audit of Community Childhood Obesity

Audit of Community Childhood Obesity/ Overweight programme research project


Overweight and obesity is increasing worldwide amongst both adults and children and has been described as a ‘global epidemic’ (WHO 2003).  Excess weight in childhood can have serious health consequences in both childhood and adult life. 

A community service has been set up to address this childhood issue in counties Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath.  This is collaboration between the community nutrition and dietetic service and WCDL. 

This research project will assess the effectiveness of this community approach to the treatment of childhood obesity/overweight.

The Researcher:

The researcher will carry out the following tasks:

  • Review relevant literature
  • Review records and collate pertinent information
  • Develop a database and input data using SPSS
  • Analyse data and formulate results and conclusions in consultation with supervisors
  • Make recommendations based on results and relevant literature.
  • Draft article and circulate for comments.
  • Amend as necessary depending on referees comments and suggestions until article is accepted for publication.
  • Make final adjustments depending on referees and editor comments and submit for publication.
  • Write up, submit for publication and have published an article in an appropriate journal or repository

The researcher will liaise with WCDL and the Community Nutrition & Dietetic service on a regular basis with regards to progress with the project.

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