Grow well in Dumfries and Galloway with new App launch

This week sees the official launch of ‘Grow Well in D&G’, a new app for expectant parents and families with children under five.

The local NHS Child Healthy Weight team with local Council health and wellbeing staff, and software developer and graphic design professionals, are delighted to see months of work creating the app finally come to fruition.

The aim of the app, which is free, is to provide information on food and physical activity for expectant parents and families with children under five.  The app contains information on other areas of health and wellbeing such as infant feeding, sleep, potty training, and mental health. It also provides information on local groups and events, and links to initiatives such as Baby Box and the Best Start Grant. 

All leaflets that are distributed by Health Visitors to families are available on the app.  This includes four new recently added leaflets that focus on preparing meals, recipes, and help with tricky mealtimes.  This makes a wide range of valuable information more accessible to users of mobile phone and tablet technology.

Health Visitors, Midwives and other staff involved with child and family health and wellbeing have been trialling the app, and recently with expectant parents and families in their homes. The feedback received so far from all parties has been overwhelmingly positive. The launch will raise awareness of the app and explain how to download it quickly and easily. The hope is that it will become a well used resource and also bring an element of fun into food and mealtimes, and other aspects of health and wellbeing. 

The Grow Well App logo.

Noting that not everyone has access to or likes to use technology to access important and helpful information such as the new app, Health Visitors and Midwives will find ways for expectant parents and families with children under five to get what they need in the format that is best for them.

Fiona Paton, Nurse Manager for Child and Public Health Nursing, NHS D&G, said: “I am delighted that the Grow Well in D&G app will provide an easy link to evidence-based information for families with young children, which can be used alongside health and social care face to face services in our region.  We aim to be inclusive to all, enabling parents or wider family members with caring responsibilities who may not be present at health consultations to access information.  Our teams will provide details about the app to families they come into contact with, and support those unable to access it to get information that’s on the app in another way.”

Charlotte Grieveson, Women and Girls Dance and Physical Activity Co-ordinator (within Inclusion School and Community Hubs), D&G Council, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with our local NHS Child Healthy Weight team creating content for this new app dedicated to families in the region.  Our goal with the work we do is to bring mums from the local community together, to inspire and motivate them to become more physically active with reliable, accessible and locally sourced information, especially for those who perhaps struggle with fear of judgement and anxiety, and with a focus on promoting kindness.  We’re really looking forward to promoting the app and seeing how mums and families benefit from having access to it, and hopefully from sharing their experience of using the app.”

Kimberley McLean-Guthrie, Project Development Co-ordinator (Child Healthy Weight), NHS D&G, said: “I took up my post in March 2020. Part of my job involves working alongside early years services to improve the Child Healthy Weight service. The pandemic has seen a shift towards digital and although the pandemic did drive the decision to develop the app, this app would be of benefit at any time as a way to reach families – especially with Dumfries and Galloway having a significant rural population.

“Grow Well in D&G is essentially a ‘one stop shop’ for expectant parents and families with young children under five looking for information on health and wellbeing. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the creation of the Grow Well in D&G app and I’m so excited that we are launching at last. I hope that the app is informative, helpful and fun for all who use it.’’

How to access the app / use the app:

  • Download HealthZone UK from your app store
  • Search for Grow Well in D&G
    • When you have found the Grow Well in D&G app you will not need to search for it each time you go in to HealthZone UK

Pictured: Amanda Johnstone, Health Visitor, and Wendy Brown, Health Visiting Assistant Practitioner, of NHS Dumfries and Galloway.