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Helping families ‘get active’ in the New Year

Monday, 04 January, 2016
Helping families ‘get active’ in the New Year

Families in south east Northumberland wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle are being encouraged to sign up to fun, free programmes starting next week.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Get Active Northumberland’ (GAN) programme is running two nine-week courses in Ashington and Seghill, to encourage parents and children between the ages of five and 13 to become more active and eat more healthily.

The courses which run after school, are a stimulating and fun way of helping families engage with healthy lifestyle changes.

Mother-of-three, Sarah Anderson from Ashington, took part in a one-week course with her five-year-old son, Aden. She says the programme has transformed her family’s diet and she would encourage other families to benefit from the help available.

Mrs Anderson said: “Aden was weighed at school and classed as overweight, so the Get Active Northumberland team contacted me and asked if we would like to take part in one of their courses.

“We learnt about healthy eating, and they taught us how to make healthier versions of our favourite meals, so the children don’t have to miss out on food they enjoy.

“Now I make all my own sauces from scratch, and Aden loves helping me in the kitchen. We eat brown bread and much less sugar.

“I would encourage other families to sign up for the course, it was great fun and we both learnt a lot.

“Aden enjoyed it so much that he has asked to do another course in the New Year.”

Louise Ray, health improvement practitioner specialist at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our programme supports national initiatives to help families live healthier lifestyles, and we provide support and advice for parents, children and young people who are concerned about their weight.

“Sometimes parents can feel overwhelmed if they think their child is overweight, so we can offer them sensitive and non-judgemental support as well as practical advice about a healthy diet and after school activities that are fun for all the family.

“These courses are a great way for parents and their children to learn about healthy eating and being active together and above all, it is a lot of fun.

“We would encourage people in the area to get in touch with the team to find out more.”

The GAN programme – one of Northumbria Healthcare’s community health services – supports parents, children and young people who are concerned about their weight to make positive changes to their lifestyles.

The weekly sessions run from 4.15pm to 5.45pm every Tuesday from January 12, at Seghill Community Centre: and every Thursday, from January 14 at Ashington Children’s Centre, excluding half-term.

To attend the courses, families should contact the GAN team on 01670 784 183 or in advance.