"Together” is an EU-funded pilot project to design and test educational material that promotes healthy diets to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
A pilot project is an initiative of an experimental nature designed to test the feasibility and usefulness of action. It is meant to try different approaches to address a problem and identify good practices for the benefit of possible future initiatives – in this case in the area of nutrition and physical exercise.
The European Commission's contract with P.A.U. Education is based on that approach and provides the contractor and the local promoting groups with the necessary scope for its execution. A board of scientific experts has been set up from a variety of disciplines to provide robust guidelines for the project intervention and to validate its tools.
"Together" is taking place from 2015–2016 in cities across Europe: Manchester, United Kingdom; Murcia, Spain; Odense and Kolding, Denmark; Prague, Czech Republic; and Varna, Bulgaria.
At the heart of the project are local communities and the Local Promoting Groups (LPGs). LPGs engage citizens in real action towards healthier lifestyles, empowering them to take more responsibility for their own health and that of their families. They are made up of organisations, professionals, and – very importantly – pregnant and breastfeeding women! Other LPG members could include midwives, doctors, social workers, community actors, local authorities… the list is long and diverse.
At community, city and national levels, the "Together" LPGs work to develop and promote opportunities for better health among pregnant and breastfeeding women, especially those from disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. They put the project into action by organising activities and events that help pregnant and breastfeeding women to develop healthy habits for themselves and their babies.
The activities are also designed as fun opportunities for mums and mums-to-be in the community to meet and get to know each other.
As “Together” is a pilot project, it will be monitored and evaluated throughout. The conclusions will influence health policymakers and local officials, to create lasting and sustainable change.