Focus: Policy and Politics - Question Time - Donna Covey, chief executive, Asthma UK

What's your latest Westminster initiative?

We have teamed up with Cancer Research UK and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in urging the Government to encourage Britons to become more active.

What do you want the Government to do?

With our manifesto Active Workplaces? Active Communities? Active Government...?

we are calling for the Government to implement its physical activity action plan quickly and effectively. We are also asking it to ensure that an effective schools strategy is implemented as a matter of urgency, a rigorous accreditation process is established for the healthy business assessment to be included in the Investors in People standard, and a strategy is developed to help older adults become more active.

What have you achieved so far?

Although we are still at the start of the campaign, the fact that three organisations are working together on the issue is already moving it further up the political agenda. We are distributing the manifesto to MPs, peers and civil servants. The health spokespeople from all three political parties have shown their support. In addition to Caroline Flint, public health minister, we have received backing from Julia Goldsworthy MP and John Baron MP.

Are you planning to work with other charities?

We will be seeking the support of further organisations in the autumn.

So far, both Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust have shown their support for the production of the manifesto.

The manifesto marks the first stage of your public health campaign. What is step two?

We will be carrying out parliamentary activity after the recess. We will also commission research to gauge public attitudes towards physical activity, behaviour patterns and lifestyles, which will tie in with our work as individual organisations and help us to move the issue of physical activity further up the political agenda.

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