For the last 30 years a visit to Healthy Harold has been part and parcel of growing up in western Sydney.
To celebrate three decades of promoting healthy lifestyles, Life Education NSW will throw a free birthday bash at its Colyton headquarters this Sunday.
The event will kick off at 10am on February 19 and will include live entertainment, food stalls, a jumping castle and rides, and interactive sessions in the Healthy Harold van.
“Since we opened our doors in Colyton 30 years ago, we have seen many great health outcomes for children in the western Sydney area,” Life Education NSW chief exectuive Kellie Sloane said.
“Most young people are making safe choices and looking after themselves.
“Drinking is on the decline – young people are initiating drinking later and drinking at less hazardous levels than they used to.
“Alcohol-attributable hospitalisations for 15- to 24-year-olds have also decreased.”
Ms Sloane said despite those successes, there are new health challenges facing young people in the west.
“Western Sydney has been labelled a diabetes hotspot. Statistics show that the effects of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are particularly pronounced in western Sydney,” she said.
“There are reports of children as young as 11 or 12 becoming addicted to ice in the western Sydney area, and that hospitalisations relating to crystal methamphetamine use continues to be a rising issue across NSW.”
Life Education NSW is also focusing on issues including cyber bullying, sexting and protecting personal information online, she said.
The community is urged to come along on Sunday. Events will wrap up at 3pm.
For more information visit www.lifeeducation.org.au