Public Health Programmes

Zing Somerset Children and Families Healthy Weight Programme


Information for professionals


The Zing Somerset programme combines the expertise and experience of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SomPar) as lead provider, Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) and Somerset Community Food (SCF). The children and families healthy weight programme plays a key part in our healthy eating, physical activity and weight management activities. Access to the service will be targeted in line with local data i.e. working with children living in areas of deprivation and high obesity prevalence.


What’s On Offer?


Zing Somerset is offering an 8 week children and family lifestyle course aimed at primary aged children and a minimum of one parent/carer. Before attendance at the course, staff will assess the family, building on the details provided in the referral and ensuring that the family is committed and motivated to attend the course. This may be by telephone, a home visit or attendance at an existing event to allow families to meet a group leader before the course starts. Where a family self-refers, staff will undertake the comprehensive assessment.


The course will be delivered in two 4 week blocks on either side of a half term / term with each session lasting 1½ hours. The programme will have a family physical activity element each week together with additional time for the children to be active whilst their parent/carer participates in focused sessions on topics including:

  • nutrition and healthy eating,
  • sugar and fat,
  • refined vs unrefined food,
  • drinks,
  • portion size,
  • food labelling,
  • practical cooking,
  • planning for eating out/parties,
  • management of hunger and stimulus control,
  • the importance of becoming more active,
  • role models, supporters and setting boundaries and self-esteem.

Six families per course with siblings also invited where appropriate.

Two telephone support sessions and school holiday activities to try, will be offered to families between the two 4 week blocks, as well as physical activity follow –on opportunities such as after school activity clubs, at the end of the course. Families will be linked into any local Get Set Cook and Get Set Grow courses and any other relevant activities. Exit strategies will be family centred and tailored to individual needs. This could include signposting to other services.


There will be regular telephone follow-up appointments and a progress review at 6 months, followed by a 1:1 appointment at 12 months to assess height, weight, review BMI and self –esteem scores.

The programme will be delivered jointly, by SomPar Senior Health Trainers and SASP Children & Families Workers. The programme will be held in community venues, either after school or in the early evening.


Family Lifestyle Courses will be established when sufficient referrals are received to make courses viable. Taster sessions may also delivered as part of targeted work in a particular area, to recruit participants. Opportunities to volunteer to support subsequent courses are available and welcomed.


What are the referral criteria?


  • Children must be aged between 5-11 years old and overweight and obese (defined as having a BMI score above the 91st and 98th centile for age respectively)
  • Children must not have complex needs or co-morbid health problems requiring specialist treatment
  • The family must agree to the referral and be engaged to discuss the option of attending a group

Zing Somerset will notify the client’s GP of their involvement in the programme and provide updates on progress to both the referrer and GP at intervals and on discharge from the service.


What the programme does not provide


This programme does not include Tier 3 services which would provide specialist, clinical treatment for children and families who have complex needs and any co-morbid health problems or where the child’s BMI is increasing over the course of interaction with the programme. In this instance, Zing Somerset will refer the child to their GP or where appropriate, Tier 3 services.


Who Can Refer?

Public Health School Nursing Teams, Community Dietitians, GPs and families can self-refer


Referrals and information


Self-referral or further information from the Zing Somerset website at


Health professionals and school staff can refer families by using the referral form and emailing to: Zing Somerset staff are happy to discuss any individual case before referral to ensure that our provision will meet the child and family’s needs, please call 01460 238254.