Kids ‘occupy’ Town Hall to teach healthy shopping to Tower Hamlets’ Mayor Biggs

Mayor John Biggs with his weekly shopping when children bring their pop-up market to the Town Hall

Mayor John Biggs with his weekly shopping when children bring their pop-up market to the Town Hall - Credit: TH Council

Schoolchildren took over the Town Hall when pupils set up a pop-up fruit and veg market selling fresh produce to council staff that they had grown themselves.

The pop-up market was part of Tower Hamlets council’s Healthy Lives programme to promote wellbeing among youngsters in east London.

The local education authority has been anxious to promote physical activity among schoolchildren in the battle against childhood obesity, which has been endemic in London’s deprived East End for the past decade.

It was a far cry from the days when the East End was among the worst areas in the country for child obesity in 2005, when a special clinic had to be set up at the Royal London Hospital to tackle the crisis.

“The vegetable market set up at the Town Hall was to get children valuing healthy eating while being given responsibility,” Mayor John Biggs said. “It was also an opportunity for me to meet these budding gardeners and sample their fresh produce.”

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The mayor sampled everything from blackberries and broccoli, rhubarb and radishes, before placing an order for his weekly shopping.

The council’s staff crowded into the pop-up market set up in the foyer of the town hall in Blackwall at lunchtime last Thursday to buy fresh produce which also included herbs, salad vegetables, onions and potatoes.

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The council also acknowledged the pupils coming out top on the London healthy schools league table.

Tower Hamlets is now the top performing London borough on City Hall’s list, holding more Gold, Silver and Bronze awards than anywhere else.

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