My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Welsh School wins Jamie Oliver award – Joe Wicks makes a surprise visit!

Credits: Tom Reader, Copyright Jamie Oliver Productions
A Dedicated Powys teacher has been awarded the prestigious Joe Wicks ‘Food for Fuel’ Award, a brand new award for the 2024 Jamie Oliver ‘Good School Food Awards’. Jen Craven from Ysgol Trefonnen School in Powys, Wales has been honoured in recognition of her innovative and impactful programmes aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity among children and their families. The award highlights her outstanding contributions to tackling holiday hunger, encouraging vegetable consumption, and fostering community engagement in nutrition and fitness.

Inspiring Initiatives for Health and Wellbeing

Judges were impressed by Jen’s “Food & Fun” club during the summer holidays which provides children with free breakfasts and lunches alongside an hour of physical exercise daily. This initiative addresses holiday hunger and ensures that children remain active and well-nourished during the school break.
Her success with the “Eat Them to Defeat Them” challenge is another testament to her dedication. Over six weeks, she visits each classroom with a different vegetable each day, encouraging students to try it and rewarding them with stickers. This programme has not only increased vegetable consumption among students but has also made trying new foods an eagerly anticipated event.

Community Engagement and Education

Beyond her work with students, Jen has also made significant strides in engaging parents and the wider community. She organized a group of parents to cook in the school kitchen, teaching them healthy recipes and helping them earn a Food & Hygiene qualification by the end of the course.
Additionally, she established a Community Fridge in a room attached to the school, accessible to everyone in the community. Stocked with donations from local supermarkets and supplemented with fresh produce purchased weekly, the fridge ensures that fresh fruit and vegetables are available to all.

Holistic Approach to Health

The teacher’s holistic approach to health education includes a range of creative ideas to encourage and enable healthy living. Her annual “Food and Fun” club focuses on the Eatwell Guide, nutrition, and introducing children to foods they might not encounter at home. She also runs a programme providing food bags with ingredients and recipes, accompanied by online cooking tutorials, allowing families to cook healthy meals together.

Encouraging Physical Activity

Physical activity is a key component of her programmes. She has organised community events such as a Colour Run and inflatable obstacle courses, and even started a Walking Bus to encourage children to walk to school. One of her most imaginative initiatives is the creation of a school Quidditch team, blending fun with physical exercise.

Acknowledgement and Impact

Judge Joe Wicks, the renowned fitness coach and advocate for children’s health, praised her efforts: “It’s been such a pleasure today to come all the way to Wales and hand this Food for Fuel award, in person to Jen. I just love the work she has been doing, not just with the children and the school but the community and the parents – she is really helping elevate the health and fitness of this school.  I think it’s a really great example of what can be achieved when someone’s passionate and love what they do and championing that. I am really proud of her and hopefully lots of other schools are inspired by her work.”
The award-winning teacher’s commitment to health and nutrition continues to inspire her students, their families, and the broader community, making her a true champion of well-being and an exemplary recipient of the Joe Wicks ‘Food for Fuel’ Award.
 The awards have been sponsored by headline partners Tefal® and supported by technology partners Wonde, to celebrate schools across the UK that demonstrate dedication to providing nutritious, delicious meals and promoting healthy eating habits among students.