Corporate Responsibility: Case study - Bupa and Life Education

Georgina Lock

Bupa has announced a partnership with the grassroots organisation Life Education to extend the reach of health education to communities throughout the UK.

The private health insurance company Bupa is giving £500,000 to Life Education over the next three years, as well as lending its facilities and encouraging staff to volunteer.

Bupa first began working with Life Education in late 2003, supporting the delivery of health education to primary school children in Salford and Greater Manchester.

Life Education works through local groups across the UK, providing information and education on health issues from trained educators operating from mobile classrooms.

They deal with a range of issues, from explaining to three-year-olds the importance of brushing their teeth to giving 11-year-olds advice on how to deal with peer pressure to start smoking.

Monica Owen, Bupa's community connections manager, hopes the partnership will help increase the reach of the scheme across the UK so that more children get the message about healthy lifestyles through their schools and local communities.

She said: "Bupa recognises that community partnerships are about more than money. We are committed to providing active involvement in Life Education's work.

"The time and commitment of our staff will help develop life skills and positive attitudes to health among school children across the country."

The resources will pay for more mobile classrooms, enable Bupa employees to volunteer in Life Education's local projects and facilitate fundraising events and activities in schools.

Stephen Burgess, chief executive of Life Education, said: "Life Education is a unique model that encourages 'whole community' engagement in children's health and the promotion of a healthy choices approach. Our partnership with Bupa is different too - it is the first step in engaging large-scale corporate volunteering to add value to our initiative. It will enable a step-change in the scale and scope of our services to children, parents and the community."

The charity hopes the partnership will also help to raise its profile in communities to enable it to educate more children about health issues.

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