FAMILIES with overweight children in Braunton, Torrington and Ilfracombe will be able to take part in free lifestyle courses from next month. The courses are being run by the MEND Programme (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition:Do It!), which is part of a national

FAMILIES with overweight children in Braunton, Torrington and Ilfracombe will be able to take part in free lifestyle courses from next month.The courses are being run by the MEND Programme (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition...Do It!), which is part of a national initiative to help overweight seven to 13-year-olds and their families.North Devon PEDPASS Partnership, the two district councils and Devon Primary Care Trust are combining to run the courses, which start the week beginning February 2 at Braunton Community School (Monday and Wednesday), Great Torrington Community School (Tuesday and Thursday) and Ilfracombe Arts College (Tuesday and Thursday).Families will take part in two-hour sessions twice a week for 10 weeks.The programme helps them improve their eating and exercise habits to improve children's fitness, physical activity levels, nutrition and self-esteem.Thanks to funding from the Youth Sports Trust and Sainsbury's, 12 places on the courses - worth up to £400 per child - are being offered to families completely free of charge on a first come, first served basis.Families interested in taking part should contact Cressida Ward on 07811 275 011 or visit www.mendprogramme.org and click on Join a MEND Programme. A parent or carer must accompany each child to every session.