Operation Ouch!

I’M delighted to report this week that researchers from our landmark Born in Bradford (BiB) study will appear alongside stars from CBBC’s Operation Ouch! at half-term events taking place in the National Science and Media Museum from this weekend. Our BiB team will star alongside the show’s stars, Dr Chris, Dr Xand and Dr Ronx, demonstrating awesome experiments and exciting activities to encourage children and young people to improve their health and wellbeing.

BiB Research Fellow in Community Engagement, Aamnah Rahman, told me “We would like to encourage young people to get involved in our project, think about their health and physical fitness, and demystify the hospital environment for young children.

“We’d also like to encourage teenagers to consider careers in health services, the NHS and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“We’ll be running fun activities around healthy eating, like demonstrating how much fat is in various foods and how much weight people can accumulate in a year without exercise.

“There will be an interactive vest for children to try on, which has weighted pockets so people can experience the effects on their body of being obese.

“As well as quizzes and physical activities there’ll be games using skipping ropes, where after a couple of minutes of exercise the team will measure pulse and blood pressure rates.”

The team will also be on hand with models of healthy and unhealthy arteries so people can see why
damage and blockages can occur. Young BiB ambassadors – who perform an advisory role helping our researchers as they grow up within the project – will also be available to help with demonstrations and the “Growing Up” team will also be looking for volunteers to participate in their large scale follow-up programme of all the BiB families.

The team will be at the museum between 11am–2pm daily from Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 February, while the Operation Ouch! presenters will be making a special appearance on Tuesday, February 19.

Aamnah told me: “It’s important to us here at BiB to work with young people at an early age so we can encourage them to look after  their health and think about their wellbeing.

“By implementing lifestyle changes now, we hope these will translate into positive lifetime habits, leading to better fitness which will ultimately have less impact upon the NHS.

“On a career level, the NHS has a plethora of professions and working in hospital settings can be such a rewarding and esteem-building experience. We have a myriad of professionals working alongside our doctors and nurses which are sometimes not necessarily visible to the public so come along to the museum and gain vital career insight into the other jobs available at our hospitals.”

Entry to the museum is free and around 30,000 people are expected to take part in the events which run from 10am until 6pm, from this Saturday, February 16, to February 24.

Our Born in Bradford Programme Director, Rosie McEachan, added: “Born in Bradford is passionate
about inspiring the next generation of scientists; we are very excited to be out and about with the CBBC
Operation Ouch! team to shout about, and demonstrate some of the amazing science we have learned from following our 13,500 BiB kids as they grow up.”

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