Start is the Public Health Kirklees commissioned weight management programme for children and young people, delivered by the Kirklees Sport and Physical Activity Development Team as part of a multi-agency initiative

It has been developed to support young people (aged 5-16yrs) and their families who are above a healthy weight to make changes to their lifestyle, through regular physical activity and healthy eating.

Additionally, Start offers a preventative programme for 2-4 year olds aimed at raising awareness of physical activity and healthy eating.

The role of a recommending agent

Young people must be recommended to the Start scheme.

Recommending agents are added to our Start Network and receive regular updates about Start.

Their support of overweight young people and families is invaluable and we welcome their feedback.

What Start offers

5 Steps to get healthy

Every child who attends the Start programme has a one to one appointment with a Start officer to discuss healthy eating and physical activity. Here's a breakdown of what is covered at each appointment:

  • 5 appointments over a 24 to 36 weeks period
  • Height and weight regularly monitored and recorded
  • Personalised physical activity plan
  • Healthy eating plan support
  • Goal setting including family goals
  • KAL card to use at Kirklees sports centres for subsidised activities
  • Home workout to encourage families to be more active at home
Ready Steady Go!
  • Free 8 week, healthy lifestyle programme for families with children aged 2-13 years old.
  • It is aimed at children and families who want to become more active and achieve a balanced diet, by making small changes to their lifestyle.
  • Families come together in a fun and exciting environment and are offered advice and support from our friendly staff.
  • There are 3 programmes available designed for various age ranges.
Ready Steady Go Juniors sessions
Target age Duration Session structure Description
2 - 4 yrs and parents/carers 1.5hrs x 8 weeks • Tots Bee Fit 30mins
• Munch Time 15mins
• Lifestyle workshop 45mins (children in créche for 45mins)
• Instructor led active play with parent/carer
• Introducing new fruits and vegetables to group to taste together with parent/carer
• Workshops around key lifestyle topics such as: The 5 food groups, Fussy Eating, Taming Tantrums
4 - 7 yrs and parents/carers 2hrs x 8 weeks • Family Zone 45mins
• Munch Time 15mins
• Lifestyle workshop 1hr
• Planet Play 1hr (children only)
• Instructor led fun activities and games around healthy eating and how to get more active
• Introducing new fruits and vegetables to group to taste together with parent/carer
• Workshops around key lifestyle topics such as: Magic Meals, Less Rest More Play, Snack Attack
• Active play - fun active games based around different planets
7 - 13 yrs and parents/carers 2hrs x 8 weeks • Sport Zone 45mins
• Snack Time 15mins
• Lifestyle workshop 1hr
• Family workshop 1hr
• Instructor led multi sports session, aiming to improve skill, confidence and fitness
• Workshops around key lifestyle topics
• Joint family sessions covering: Be Food Smart, Ready Steady Shop, Sugar Snacks and Everything Fat
Community-based sessions and holiday activities
  • Weekly community based term time sessions are available for participants on Start in Huddersfield and Dewsbury
  • Activities include multi-sport games, skills and fitness sessions
  • Sessions aim to improve skill, confidence and fitness through a fun supportive group environment
  • Half day activities are also available during the holidays
  • Activities provided at a reduced cost, contact Start for more details

How to recommend a young person to Start

1. The young person must meet the Start criteria

These are:

  • A. Motivated and compliant to take part
  • B. Overweight (above the 91st centile)
  • C. Resident in Kirklees

And either:

  • D. Age 5-16yrs old; or
  • E. Aged 2-4 and would benefit from a preventative weight management programme

The young person must demonstrate a willingness to change behaviour.

If they are not ready to make the change following your initial contact or a phone call from Start, we will not allow them to attend the programme until they are fully committed to make the changes necessary.

2. Discuss the recommendation

Contact or meet with a parent or carer to discuss the recommendation to Start.

If the family are not ready to commit to the programme give them a Start flyer to consider for another time.

3. Fill in the recommendation form

Complete the recommendation form if the family are motivated and compliant.

Recommend a young person for a Start programme

Download our simple form.

Clock Completing this form takes around 10 minutes

Download form

After you've applied

The Start Team will tell you if the family have decided to join the programme.

Partners, results and quality

Partners include
  • Dietitians
  • Kirklees Active Leisure
  • GPs
  • University of Huddersfield
  • FINE (Food Initiatives Nutrition Education)
  • Schools Nursing - Locala
  • Child and Adolescent and Mental Health Services
  • Kirklees Schools
  • Catering Services
  • The Giants Community Development Team
  • DISP (Deighton Into Sport Project)
  • Community Engagement Team
  • IYSS (Integrated Youth Support Service)

Annual and quarterly reports are produced for Public Health to monitor and evaluate effectiveness of the programme and customer feedback. Available on request.

Quality assurance

Start adheres to the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) Public health guideline 47 on weight management programmes for children

NCMP (National Child Measurement Programme) - data used to identify priority areas

Standard Evaluation Frameworks

Contact Start find out more