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Medway healthy lifestyle group wins national award

Date: 07/11/2008           Category: Medway PCT

A support programme has received a cash boost for its work in helping young people give their unhealthy lifestyles the boot. Medway Public Health Team was awarded with a £250 cheque and a trophy for its community-based MEND graduates programme at a national award ceremony. On Thursday, 6 October, members who meet at the Arethusa Venture Centre, Lower Upnor, were presented with the cheque, which will be spent on activities like hip hop dance sessions, swimming and football to help MEND graduates achieve and continue with their new improved healthy lifestyle. NHS Medway’s Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It! programme, funded by the Primary Care Trust and Medway Council, was acknowledged at the MEND Best Practice Awards 2008 for its dedication to helping people after they have completed the 10-week free programme. MEND Chief Executive Harry MacMillan praised the team for making sure families keep up with exercise once the formal programme is over. He said: “We hope that with this acknowledgment, the Medway MEND programmes will continue in their success and help many more families learn healthy living skills in a fun and supportive environment.” Medway’s MEND Co-ordinator Faye Newman said: "We are very pleased to be seen as a leading example of a successful scheme to help children and their families make healthy lifestyle changes. The club aims to boost their confidence and give them the opportunity to try many different activities. “Our team is committed to sustained success in supporting families in our community to help children to make healthy lifestyle changes to manage their weight.” The programme uses techniques developed by health experts to help seven to 13-year-olds who weigh more than they should for their height and age. The programme also helps their parents or carers learn about food and discover fun ways to get fit. Since January 2007 there have been 10 MEND programmes run across Medway and 73 children and their families have taken part. This term has seen a further three programmes held at Gillingham, Strood and Upnor For more information of programmes running in 2009 free phone 0800 230 0263, the Medway MEND team direct on 01634 33741 or visit www.mendprogramme.org Note to Editors Photograph available on request.