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Northumbria helps families ‘get active’ this summer

Wednesday, 09 July, 2014
Northumbria helps families ‘get active’ this summer

Families in south east Northumberland have been given a helping hand from the NHS to lead a healthier lifestyle this summer.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Get Active Northumberland’ (GAN) programme ran a week-long course to encourage parents and children to be more active and eat more healthily.

The programme, for children aged five to 13 years and their parents, involved fun physical activities including cycling and learning about healthy eating and was held in Ashington.

Helen Prytherch, health improvement manager at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The week has been a great success and it was fantastic to see the children and their parents taking part in the activities and joining the bike ride and, above all, having a lot of fun.

“They also really enjoyed the cooking sessions and having a go at making healthy meals and snacks while learning about the importance of eating fruit and vegetables and having appropriate portion sizes.

“We hope that the children and adults now take what they’ve learnt home and lead a healthier lifestyle.”

The cycling was run in partnership with community cycling group WATBike.

Colin Hall, cycling and training officer at WATBike, said: “We were pleased to be part of the programme and hep spread the word that cycling is a great fun activity that can be enjoyed by all members of the community.

“In south east Northumberland there are many tracks which are perfect for families to get out and about and do exercise together.”

Participants on the course included Marie Kelly and her daughter Jessica, eight, from Ashington.

Marie said: “The week’s been brilliant and we’ve both really enjoyed it.

“It’s really opened our eyes to the fat and sugar content of foods and portion sizes and as a result we’ll be making changes to our everyday lives.”

Barbara Diawara, from Bedlington, attended with her daughter Sirandou, nine.

Barbara said: “It’s been a great week and a lot of fun. It’s really encouraged us both to be more active and eat more healthily.”

The week was part of a series of initiatives which run across the county for children from five to 13 years and their parents.

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.

Programmes are planned for Berwick and Cramlington for the autumn. For more information contact 01670 784183 or email