Mend does make a difference

CHILDREN on a healthy lifestyles scheme have improved their fitness levels and put a spring in their step.

Seven families started on the MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition...Do It!) programme in January, with the goal of improving their lifestyles and getting active.

During the ten-week course the children took part in activity and information sessions including street dance, boxercise and fun team games.

They have all now completed the programme and noticed an increase in their fitness levels.

Jeanette Smith and her son James, seven, attended the MEND sessions twice a week at Todmorden High School.

James not only increased his fitness levels but also lost 3.6kg in body weight.

Jeanette said: “Although my son was apprehensive at the start, being on MEND has brought about a change for life for the whole family. James needed the support of the whole family to go forward and together with MEND, it has really helped him.

“The focus hasn’t been about losing weight, it’s been about getting fitter and the weight loss has been a bonus. James’ self-esteem has gone through the roof.”

Since the beginning of the MEND programme, run by the health improvement team at NHS Calderdale, families have had the opportunity to find out about cooking healthy meals on a budget, learned about food labels and taken part in a pedometer challenge.

They are continuing to improve their fitness by attending a series of family activity sessions at Todmorden Sports Centre.

The next MEND programme will begin in May, running on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Todmorden High School.

Places on the free programme are available for children aged seven to 13, who are above a healthy weight, and their parents and carers. For more information, contact Rachel Morton on 01422 281522 or email rachel.morton@swyt.nhs.uk.