Posted: 25.03.20 at 19:45 by The Editor
Hundreds of slimmers across Rutland in 'genuine distress' over how to continue their weight loss journey with groups abandoned during the coronavirus crisis are celebrating a ‘virtual’ online lifeline.
Members of the almost one million-strong Slimming World franchise have this week been trialling the use of a Zoom app to bring the normal classroom support to the comfort of their homes instead.
The pandemic had filled slimmers attending classes with real worries about staying 'on plan' without the reassurance of consultants – and the friendship and community spirit at weekly groups.
The launch of a new temporary ‘virtual’ weight-loss service to 19,000 community groups across the UK and Ireland has been warmly welcomed.
The new service also means Slimming World’s 5,000 consultants, who are self-employed franchisees, can continue to offer a service, at a discounted fee, so that they can continue to work and earn their own living during the weeks and months ahead.
Slimming World’s CEO Caryl Richards said: “Our groups bring people together in the heart of their communities, to support and inspire one another every week.
“In these anxious times, the community spirit and the genuine care we provide has never been more important.
“We’ve had countless messages from members who are genuinely distressed at losing their group and their weight loss lifeline, who are already missing the camaraderie each week, and who desperately want to hang on to the changes they have made towards a healthier, fitter lifestyle.
“So we’ve done our very best to put a new ‘virtual group’ in place which gives our members the same practical help, caring support and friendship they’ve come to rely on, and gives our consultants the means to sustain their livelihoods in the challenging times ahead.”
The new package will include access to a weekly ‘virtual’ group using video conferencing.
A Slimming World consultant will host the group and invite members to join from home to continue to get support to make healthier food choices and find new ways to stay active indoors.
The emphasis will be on building and staying in control of healthy new lifestyle habits when it might not be as easy as it is under normal circumstances – helping members find ways to make groceries go a bit further, and easy ways to shop, cook and eat healthily.
Slimming World’s unique formula built on compassion, care and understanding, bringing a welcome bit of light in hard times, will be more important now than ever before, said Caryl.
The new service will be combined with ongoing use of social media and access to Slimming World’s app and member-only website LifelineOnline.
“We’ve created this new service so that we can continue to give our members the very best support, to help them hang on to the changes they’ve already made towards living a healthier life and – even more importantly – to keep in touch with their slimming community.
“None of us knows just what we’re facing in the next few weeks, so we feel sure that anything which can bring practical support as well as friendship, relief and reassurance will be welcome.
“While we believe nothing rivals the unbeatable magic of a Slimming World group, and though we may be physically apart, we don’t need to be alone.
"Technology can help us stay together,” added Caryl.
Existing Slimming World members will pay a discounted fee of £2.50 per week – around half the usual weekly fee of £4.95 – for the new service.
New members wanting to sign up will pay £5 – half the previous joining fee – plus the new discounted weekly fee.