Last year, Bristol committed to becoming ‘Sugar Smart’. Read our Ambassador’s, Fi Argent, article about what this means and the journey she has been on with Bristol…

Just a little over a year ago, Bristol decided to take its first steps to becoming a Sugar Smart City and, as Jamie’s local Ambassador, I joined them in that journey.  Challenging thinking and traditional methods of communicating, Sugar Smart Bristol strived to embrace the whole city, to work with partner organisations and to convince us all that small changes can make big differences.

Bristol desperately needed something to change; with 60 % of our adult population and a third of our 11 year olds obese or overweight and a prediction our children would have shorter lives than us due to inactivity and poor diet.  The harsh reality is that the largest reason for children between 5 and 9 to have a hospital admission and a general anaesthetic is to have their teeth pulled out because they are rotten.  We all needed to get a grip and we have done that in our thousands.

As a resident of Bristol, I have been humbled by the desire of our major institutions to become involved and support us in this journey as part of their CSR, staff and patient wellbeing, community engagement and pupil and student education and health.   Each organisation accepted that there was no budget and that we would need to do this on a shoestring and they came along all the same.

Wow what a year we have had.  Creative agency Six provided marketing workshops and film loops free of charge, Bristol Sport and Community Foundation orchestrated a spectacular launch, with social media and fan engagement programmes across all of their major teams. UWE ran promotions and communicated with their students during ‘feel good’ February.  University of Bristol added Sugar Smart as a dissertation topic for MSc students. Thousands of students engaged through the Varsity Series, Lloyds Banking Group shared the message with their staff and even went as far as removing Sugary Fizzy drinks completely during wellness week in April.  Bristol Water shared our story with 500,000 homes through  “Water Talk” and with thousands more via their mobile water bar.

Our Nurseries and Schools have pledged to be Sugar Smart in their teaching, and procurement. Bristol Better Eating Awards have introduced standards of achievement to help us ‘eat smart’ when we are away from home.

My highlight this year was teaching 74-year-old Joe to cook from scratch for the first time and seeing his deep sense of enjoyment and achievement.  Joe came to Jamie’s teaching kitchen with Bristol Sport’s Spectrum Project.

Thrilled to have been finalists in a number of city-wide awards, the journey doesn’t end here.  We are working with our hospitals to provide healthy vending, and students at UWE are working on a live digital marketing brief to understand how best to engage with certain age groups.  Create Health have helped us to develop a brilliant parody and new students arriving in the city were provided with literally thousands of healthy recipes to start their journey of cooking for themselves as they left home.

Together through food education and all sorts of initiatives across the city we can make Bristol a stronger, healthier, cooler city.

Thank you Bristol …..… join the journey #sugarsmartbristol

Fi Argent

Ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

About Fi Argent

Food Revolution Ambassador