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Becoming a role model

Mackenzie was part of our Healthy Eagles programme and is now more active, more confident and helping her family to eat healthier foods. She has also been selected to represent her school at a sports celebration event, won a 'Good Citizenship' award and is volunteering at our cooking sessions.

Through our community links with the Salvation Army in Thornton Heath, Mackenzie was referred onto our Healthy Eagles programme due to being above a healthy weight and lacking confidence. We first met Mackenzie and her family during the 2018 summer programme where her parents expressed a desire for Mackenzie to be fitter and healthier before starting secondary school.

Through attending more than 17 Healthy Eagles sessions in Thornton Heath, Mackenzie has lost weight, increased her physical activity and improved her healthy eating. Before starting Healthy Eagles, Mackenzie would get out breath walking to school, lacked confidence in joining new sports clubs and struggled to keep up with other children in sports activities. Six months on, Mackenzie now looks forward to PE, walks a mile to her trampoline class twice a week, only taking her 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes and also attends every holiday club her school provides.

Mackenzie’s family now have healthier foods at home and seek opportunities for physical exercise both with organised activities and by walking the dog as a family. Mackenzie educates her family on what foods are healthy and now has treats in moderation. As well as benefiting physically and mentally from the programme, Mackenzie has also made new friendships.

For the first time, Mackenzie has been selected to represent her school at a sports celebration day and is currently on a 10-week course after school preparing for that. This new-found confidence has led to her winning the ‘Good Citizenship’ award for caring for other pupils in her school. As well as supporting pupils in her school, she now volunteers on our community cooking programme in Thornton Heath, helping younger children to learn cooking techniques, as well as preparing fruit for a monthly adoption support group.

Mackenzie’s mother commented on her journey: “We have seen such a change in Mackenzie over the last six months, she has grown into a very happy young person who enjoys being fit and healthy. Mackenzie’s confidence has grown over the year and even with the increased physical activities she now attends, her grades have increased beyond the expectations of the teachers.

“We were really pleased that our hopes of her getting into shape before beginning secondary school have been realised. More so, she’s gone from not enjoying physical exercise to loving anything sports related.”

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