Graduating in 2015 from Edge Hill with a First Class BSc (Hons) degree in Nutrition and Health, Val applied to join the Association for Nutrition UK Voluntary Register via the portfolio route.
In 2016 Blackpool Council recruited Val as their Healthy Lifestyles Nutritionist based at the Towns new Health Works Hub. This new initiative brought together employment, health and lifestyle specialist providing advice for local residents to help them gain employment and improve overall health and wellbeing. Val led the team of Healthy Lifestyles Coaches whose role it was to encourage and support Blackpool residents to make healthier choices.
As part of the Council’s Public Health Team Val also supported the development of the new Healthier Choices Catering Award. She encourages food outlets, such as take-aways, schools, children’s centres, and workplace canteens to adopt healthier cooking methods and make healthier food options available. Val has presented over 125 Healthier Choices Awards and in 2019 launched the New Junior Healthier Choices Award recognising healthier, family friendly venues that welcome in breastfeeding mothers.
Working within the community Val has delivered primary school taster sessions to promote healthy packed lunches and breakfasts, developing leaflets and activity sheets to reinforce health messages. She also supported the mental health charity Headstart by planning and facilitating healthy eating cooking courses with groups of High School students.
After recently completing Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food ‘Train the Trainer’ Programme Val with be encouraging Blackpool families to cook from scratch with hands on cooking sessions.