13 Jul 2015

Leeds offers Public Health chief a Rhino-sized shake up

Health Wellbeing

England’s Public Health chief, Duncan Selbie, was offered a Rhino-sized welcome when visiting Leeds to see how the city is improving health.

Mr Selbie, who is Chief Executive of Public Health England, was in the city to find out how Leeds is improving health prevention in the wake of the council taking over responsibility for public health two years ago. He was also able to congratulate the Leeds Rhinos Foundation (LRF) and Leeds Rhinos on their approach to increasing healthy lifestyles.

Both the council and local NHS organisations have been working closely with LRF to improve health in Leeds, linking with Leeds Rhinos and LRF to build on the link between active lifestyles and healthier lives. LRF have taken an active role supporting Change4Life campaigns, delivering messages into schools using their ambassadors scheme, through the activity delivered in the Tryzone education centre and via their website and social media.

Duncan Selbie said:

“The strong partnerships between the council, the NHS, voluntary organisations and business are helping Leeds see a steady improvement in the level of health inequalities, with a decrease in difference between life expectancy between the most deprived and best off parts of the city. And I’m delighted to see the Leeds Rhinos’ commitment to the Change4Life campaigns, helping children and families all over the city to get active.”

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“It is good to have a chance to show how we are making a difference to communities in the city and how we are using the unique relationship we have with Leeds Rhinos to embed healthy living in the city. The recent confirmation of increased walking rates in the city show the difference we are making. The clear understanding of Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Rhinos Foundation of the importance of involving families in looking after their own health will pay dividends in the future.”

Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“We’ve been working really well with partners across the city to promote healthy living messages. The council’s public health team have trained all Tryzone and School Partnership Officers on the Change4Life messages to better integrate healthy eating messages into their physical activity provision. LRF has also made sure their website includes information on health, and they offer a platform for campaigns.

There have been improvements in health in the city, but we’re not going to be complacent with this improvement and we have agreements across the city to make Leeds healthier and more active.”

Gary Hetherington, Chief Executive, Leeds Rhinos, said:

“The Rhinos know that we are well placed to add our support to efforts to improve health. We want our supporters to be part of the good news story of people in Leeds living longer and better, and being Rhinos fans for longer too!

“We’ve had great success working with the council’s public health team, for instance with our ‘health takeover day’ last month. We look forward to building on the good work so far and being part of the Leeds success story of improving health inequalities.”

This summer’s Change4Life 10 Minute Shake Up campaign aims to encourage children to do 10 minute bursts of moderate to vigorous activity, inspired by Disney characters, throughout the day - and every day - in order to meet the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity children need. Search Change4Life online to sign up and receive a free Disney-inspired 10 Minute Shake Up pack.


Notes for editors:

Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications team

Leeds City Council

Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 07891 276270

Tel: 0113 224 3602


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team