A healthy eating programme for school children has been given a boost after receiving a further three years of funding from Sellafield Ltd and Cumbria County Council.

PhunkyFoods has secured the money as part of three-year partnership between the two organisations.

Their programme to support healthy eating and physical activity will get the message out to 41 primary schools and five early years settings across Copeland. It has been running for the past two years.

PhunkyFoods' managing director Dr Jennie Cockroft said she was delighted that they now had the support of a company as influential in the local community as Sellafield Ltd, which will enhance the already well-established and successful partnership with Cumbria County Council.

She said: “Rapid increases in childhood obesity prevalence means that we must help empower children, alongside their families and communities, to take control over their wellbeing to enable them to live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives. It takes time to change behaviours, and ultimately lives; long-term funding opportunities like this are vital to support this important work in educational settings.”

Engagement and development coordinator for PhunkyFoods in Copeland, Harriet Chappell said: “I’m really proud of what’s been achieved in Copeland during the last two years and that schools will be able to continue using the programme. It’s fantastic to see children putting into practice what they’ve learnt about healthy living, knowing it will improve their long term health. I’m looking forward to building on this over the next three years."

Stuart McCourt, social impact team manager at Sellafield Ltd said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver the PhunkyFoods programme. Adult and childhood obesity levels have been high in our community for some time now and this will be a key part of a range of programmes which will address this at an early age.”

Councillor Keith Hitchen, Chairman of Copeland local committee said: “Having seen the PhunkyFoods Programme in action I was very impressed by the involvement of the children in the project and the support from the teachers. The programme is doing great things in Copeland. I’ve seen the results and I fully support the programme.”

Over the past fourteen years the PhunkyFoods Programme has amassed a strong track record across the UK in delivering real health benefits without placing undue pressure on teachers or the curriculum and now Copeland schools can look forward to the continued benefits of the programme.

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said: “The PhunkyFoods scheme is a vital one for school children and their families in Copeland to learn about healthy eating and lifestyle. It’s wonderful news that Sellafield has stepped in with generous financial support which will ensure that this programme of activities can continue to be provided free to schools for at least another three years.”

Caroline Elliot, a teacher from St Bridget’s C of E Primary School in Parton, said: “We are very conscious as a school of the importance of promoting healthy living. PhunkyFoods is a very good way of getting the children to appreciate that healthy food is very tasty.”