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Hampshire Healthy Weights Strategy

Support for Practitioners working with Hampshire families and children

Child Weight Management Services (MEND Programmes)

What is the MEND?

MEND stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…..Do it!, and it aims to empower children and adults to reach or maintain a healthier weight. It is foremost a weight management service designed to help families with a child who is overweight or obese (child’s BMI above the 91st centile [UK 1990 BMI charts]). The child must be resident in or attend a school within Hampshire.

The MEND family weight management programme is split into:

  • MEND 5-7 for children aged 5-7 years old
  • MEND 7-13 for those children aged between 7-13.

The programmes contain the following:

MEND 5-7 is a multi-component healthy lifestyle programme designed to help manage overweight and obesity in children aged 5-7. The programme consists of groups of families participating in weekly 1 hour 45 minute sessions for ten weeks. Sessions include three essential elements: age appropriate healthy eating, increased Active Play and behavioural change strategies.

MEND 7-13 is a comprehensive, family-based educational programme that has been designed to prevent and treat overweight and obesity in children and their families by improving health, fitness and self-esteem. The programme consists of groups of families participating in weekly 1 to 2 hour sessions twice a week for ten weeks. Sessions include three essential elements: exercise and physical activity, good nutrition and a balanced diet and behaviour change

What is happening in Hampshire?

Mytime Active has been commissioned to provide MEND programmes for Hampshire families.

Between June 2013 and March 2015, MEND 5-7 programmes were delivered in six local authority areas, namely Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Rushmoor and Test Valley.

In addition MEND 7-13 programmes were delivered in these local authority areas: Basingstoke, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Gosport, Havant and Rushmoor.

Data collection about the impact on families attending these programmes will be completed by 31 March 2016.

2015/16 Programme

MEND 7-13 programmes will be delivered in the following four local authorities:

  • Eastleigh

  • Gosport

  • Havant

  • Rushmoor

Download list of the latest programme details Microsoft Word 105kb

Referrals to the MEND programmes

Professionals such as GPs, school nurses and teachers can refer a family directly via the MEND website. Families can also use this web site to self-refer.

National Child Measuring Programme (NCMP) parental feedback letters for clinically overweight and obese children in Year 6, distributed by the school nursing teams of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust will include information about self-referral to local MEND programmes.


Workforce Development (HENRY)

The Healthy Weights Strategy includes a programme of training and development to meet the needs of frontline staff engaging with families around healthy weights.  The Early Years workforce has been prioritised for this training.

What is HENRY?

HENRY stands for Health, Exercise, Nutrition for the Really Young and its training develops confidence and skills in working with families of young children to promote a healthy lifestyle and address issues of overweight.

The 2-day Core training builds knowledge and skills in offering effective one-to-one support to parents with young children. Much of the focus is on developing and enhancing the key skills that support behaviour change.

Second stage ‘build-on’ training can then be added to equip and license practitioners to lead the 8-week HENRY Group Programme for parents and carers or deliver the targeted HENRY 1-to-1 Programme with parents where babies & young children are at particular risk of becoming overweight or obese.

HENRY is evidence based and details about its published studies can be found on the HENRY website.

What is happening in Hampshire?

Between 2012 and 2014, HENRY were commissioned to fully train Early Years staff from each of the 11 district council areas within Hampshire.

Staff from Children’s Centres (Family Support Outreach Workers, Play Leaders) and local health professionals (Health Visitors, Community Staff Nurses, Community Nursery Nurses) attended training together. By September 2015, 81 staff had been trained to deliver the 8 week parent programmes and 41 staff trained to deliver the 1-to-1 work with parents of babies & young children who are at particular risk of becoming overweight or obese. These totals include 16 staff who have been dual trained to deliver both types of programme.

Parent programmes have now taken place across the county:


Programmes delivered

Summer 2014


Autumn 2014


Spring 2015


Summer 2015


Autumn 2015


Spring 2016

14 (planned)

Ongoing programme evaluations demonstrate that collectively, Hampshire programmes are meeting or exceeding the national HENRY thresholds for retention (parents completing the course), approval ratings and average change in healthy lifestyles.

We now spend more time as a family enjoying active play; we eat mainly home cooked meals now and watch far less TV than we used to; I feel family life is much happier and fun and am really pleased I did the HENRY course

The most recent figures say that parents are improving both parenting and healthy lifestyle skills. By September 2015, there were 207 families who had completed a local HENRY parent programme.

Contact your local children's centre or health visiting team for details about how to refer families.


Resources for working with families and children

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