FAMILIES across south Essex are being encouraged to keep up the spirit of the Games and get fit this autumn.

The Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It, scheme is a free 10-week-course aimed at helping children between five and seven who are above a healthy weight and their relatives become fitter and healthier.

The after-school sessions, which are funded by the South Essex Partnership Trust, encourage children to boost their activity levels and parents to learn about healthy portion sizes and diets.

Deborah Hart MEND's programme manager for SEPT, said: “MEND helps families make small changes to their lifestyle that improve their health in the long-term.

“Following a fantastic summer full of sporting activity, MEND encourages children to be more active and become healthier by giving them the opportunity to try out new sports in a fun and supportive environment.

“The programme helps children to become more confident, healthier and happier.”

One in three children in the UK is above a healthy weight.

For more information about the MEND programme running in Castle Point, Rochford and Southend contact Deborah Hart on 01268 464550 or visit www.mendcentral.org