A health project in Sheffield which tackles obesity in young people has big plans for expansion after moving into a new home.
The Shine Health Academy, based in Manor, wants to install a gym and a kitchen where families can cook healthy budget meals at the building on Prince of Wales Road.
Children and teenagers will also be able to visit the centre for advice on sexual health, stopping smoking and taking more exercise.
Kath Sharman, managing director, said she was ‘overjoyed’ Shine had been donated the building, previously home to the Manor Rights and Advice Service, which recently folded.
She said: “It’s a massive move for us.
“Before we were in the middle of an industrial estate, so we will be much more visible now.
“People will be able to pop in when they’re out shopping.”
Shine has been running for 10 years and works with young people aged 10 to 17, taking referrals from parents, GPs and social workers.
Kath said: “Manor Rights Advice has folded and had to pass the building on to another charitable organisation.
“It needs a lot of work doing. It’s going to be a healthy lifestyle centre, where people can drop in and get information and see specialists.
“Ironically, it’s in the middle of a row of shops with fast food outlets selling things like chips and pizza.”
Kath said: “We’re making it a bit more generic as young people generally don’t go to GPs.
“They get most of their information from their peers, which is not always very accurate.
“We’re hoping to change one of the rooms upstairs into a dining room and there’s an area we want to convert into a kitchen.
“The family culture of eating together has just got lost, so we want to hold ‘cook and eat’ sessions where families will make a healthy budget meal, sit down together and eat it.
“There’s also a really big room we want to convert into a gym.”
Other rooms will be used as offices, as well as spaces for therapy and family assessments.
The move will coincide with the launch of Shine’s first course solely for boys, following a rise in referrals for young males.
Kath said: “I think the message is going out that weight management is important for young men.
“Perhaps young men are now becoming more body conscious.
“It will be an interesting course for us to manage.”
Tomorrow the centre is holding an open day from noon to 2pm, featuring drop-ins, counselling, health checks, taster sessions and free treats such as fruit cocktails and smoothies. Meanwhile, the course for boys has three places left.
For more information, call 07837 858801.