A unique scheme launched back in 2009 is continuing to help overweight children and their families lead healthier lifestyles in 2010.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cwm Taf Health Board have joined forces to run MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it) across the County Borough. Thanks to funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, they are able to offer the scheme for free.
Open to those aged seven to 13 and their families, MEND engages participants via fun, interaction weekly sessions over a 10-week period, which are run every school term.
The innovative programme doesn’t just focus on weight loss, the scheme uses a practical interactive learning approach to teach children and parents weight management skills. This includes inspiring families to adopt a healthier lifestyle and enjoy preparing and eating healthy foods as well as reading food labels and healthy shopping on a budget
Tracey Taylor, RCT’s MEND Programme Manager, said: “MEND can change families. We offer a friendly relaxed atmosphere to encourage children to give new things a go and show parents how they can be supportive and involve everyone in making healthier choices. Children become healthier and fitter while their self esteem and confidence increase greatly. We very much hope families will take up the chance to improve their health with this fantastic free course.”
Councillor Annette Davies, Cabinet Member for Children and Equality, added: “This is a fantastic scheme that will improve the lives of children and families in the County Borough. The lessons learnt through this programme, if followed and encouraged, could increase the life expectancy of those involved.”
Places are limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis.
For more information and to apply, contact 0800 230 0263 or visit www.mendprogramme.org and click on ‘Join a MEND Programme’. Please note a parent or carer must accompany each child to every session.