Free places at 'fat camp' for overweight children

FREE places in a "fat camp" are being offered to overweight children in Rotherham during the summer holidays.

Last year 53 children from Rotherham who attended the pioneering Carnegie International Camp in Apperley Bridge, near Leeds, lost a

total of 53 stone in weight.

One of the children to succeed on the course, 16-year-old Jessica Heywood, lost 26lb and three dress sizes in six weeks.

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The camp is aimed at young people aged between eight and 17 and will run for five weeks, beginning on Sunday, July 25.

Parents will also be required to attend weekly sessions in Rotherham to support their children. After the camp the children and their families will receive support to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Jessica's mother, Liz Denton, praised the scheme and said: "It was mainly down to portion sizes and increasing her activity levels. Now, no food is banned, but she eats about half what she used to.

"She loved it there and didn't want to come home. She's gained so much in confidence too, she's like a different person."

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NHS Rotherham is also funding a 12-week Carnegie Clubs programme which, like the camp, aims to offer a practical approach to weight loss.

Courses will begin on Monday, April 19, at Rotherham Leisure Centre, on Tuesday, April 20, at Aston Leisure Centre and on Wednesday, April 21, at Maltby Leisure Centre. Sessions all run from 5pm to 7pm.

A spokesman from NHS Rotherham said of this year's Carnegie Camp: "There is a shortlist of children due to attend, and there is still an opportunity for more families to be involved."