Duchy Health Charity

Cornwall’s leading grant giving health charity for the promotion of health and wellbeing
and the prevention of sickness in Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly

Founders of healthcare and wellbeing related initiatives
can apply for grants to help reach their objectives


Posted on 18 February 2019

Duchy Health Charity hosted a conference on Wednesday 13 February at FifteenCornwall, Watergate Bay, with inputs from high profile national figures and also young people from our schools.


In November 2017, Professor Sir Al Ainsley Green visited the Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers (CASH) as a key note speaker at their Autumn conference followed later that day with a presentation to a number of local health, local authority and community leaders, including trustees of the Duchy Health Charity. Previously, from 2005-09, Sir Al was the inaugural Childrens’ Commissioner of England, and he is currently  Visiting Professor of Advocacy for Children and Childhood at Nottingham Trent University and Professor Emeritus of Child Health, University College London. His presentation, Building Local Communities with Resilient Children at their Heart challenged governments, and, locally,  headteachers and others working with young people on a day-to-day basis to really put children at the centre of policy and decision making. Much of Sir Al’s thinking and argument has now been published in his recent book ‘The Betrayal of British Betrayal of Childhood ‘ (Routledge; 2019)

The Challenge

Sir Al invited Headteachers to ‘take the lead’ in their communities. Following that session, three heads met with Sir Al, Barbara Vann (Chair of DHC), David Barton, Executive Officer of CASH, DHC Trustees Carol O’Brien, James Robinson and Mary Grigg to see if we could develop programmes that build on Sir Al’s work in other parts of the UK. We have taken up his ‘challenge’.


That group of Heads and Trustees have met subsequently with health and community colleagues, and different projects have been started across the county, some led by heads, others by health leaders. Inevitably, some projects have developed more rapidly than others.

  •  Two of the most developed projects so far have been seen at Helston Community College (working in particular in the Porthleven community) and through the Café Chaos project based in Truro. Students and Young People from these two projects presented on leading activities at this conference, and there was also be a short presentation from the young apprentices at Fifteen Cornwall

– Our two key note speakers were

  •      Duncan Selbie, CEO of Public Health England
  •      Sir Al Aynsley Green, UK’s First Childrens’ Commissioner


These were parish councillors, town councillors and others who hold a position of responsibility within our local communities. Others with health and community locality and countywide briefs were also invited alongside those head teachers and school based staff engaged in ‘The Challenge’!

School break with a difference- lunch at Watergate Bay c/o ‘Fifteen Cornwall’

Steve Brown, Cornwall Council talks to Conference Facilitator, Matthew Thomson, CEO Cornwall Food Foundation at lunch break

Radio Chaos interviewing delegates and speakers with a live feed to BBC Radio Cornwall

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