As a second year Human Nutrition student at the University of Chester, I was delighted to be offered a placement with the team at Healthbox CIC. Throughout the 5 weeks I was considered a part of the team, helping with community sessions across the local area from vegetarianism throughout pregnancy, oral health and hand hygiene in primary schools, to cookery classes and many more projects. Every day was a new experience as I was able to become involved numerous projects and try out tasty recipes for addition to the Healthbox CIC website.
Developing a stand for the Live Local Work Local event in Ellesmere Port was one of the first tasks myself and 3 other placement students were asked to do. Coordinating and planning our own student project to promote health in the community was exciting and we were all keen to get stuck in! We incorporated the smoothie bikes, hula hoops and skipping ropes, free recipes, samples of energy balls (a Healthbox fave) and fruit infused water as a lower sugar alternative to fruit juice. We were blessed with the sunny weather which brought people out and attracted people to our stall alongside the vibrant bunting and summer tunes.
A further highlight included preparing and presenting a talk for nutrition throughout aging, whereby I was able to link knowledge from my course and apply it to the prevention of falls. After engaging with the class and taking part with the participants, one other student and I delivered information on nutrients such as calcium, omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D, A and C and how these related to bone health, sight, and prevention of cognitive decline. This was a great experience to develop my presenting and communication skills, as well as adapting knowledge to my audience!
An ongoing project I had the privilege to be involved with was the development of the improved café at the Lache Community Centre. I helped nutritionally analysing the menu, and subsequently created healthier recipe alternatives. Customers are now able to see how many calories are in their meals, and it is extremely rewarding to see this.
One of the most exciting areas for me was within local primary schools delivering oral health and handwashing workshops to years 1,2 and 5. I am passionate about working in paediatrics in the future and have a passion for working with children, therefore being able to help Sarah with her sessions was a fantastic experience for me to participate in.
Overall the placement provided me with experience across the board, working and engaging with people from many different backgrounds and ages, including those from both affluent and deprived areas.
I have been truly inspired by how devoted the Healthbox team are to making a difference in the community. It has been incredibly rewarding to work within such an enthusiastic team of individuals with a clear passion for the work they do.
Thanks to everyone at Healthbox for an unforgettable placement! ☺