A SLIMMING world group has been helping people in Whitehaven shed weight in a fun and friendly environment for the past four years. 

Alex's Slimming World Groups, which is ran by Alexandra Moore, runs every Wednesday for five sessions throughout the day at the New Life Church - of which anyone is welcome to drop-in. 

Alex was a former slimming world attendee herself and managed to lose four stone, leading to her becoming her own consult to host her own group, priding her group on offering meal and activity plans but also a no-judgement support system both focused on group help and individual psychological help. 

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"When you have that background behind you, it really helps when it comes to empathy and understanding of members of the group," Alex said. 

Alex said a highlight of the group is being able to offer an avenue into self-help that perhaps the NHS and surgeries don't offer. 

"GP services and the NHS can quite often put a lot of people in a place of guilt, shame and humiliation and it's not the GP's or surgeries fault, but when people do come into the group they've met with people with the same understanding and they've got the empathy and everyone's in the same boat as it were - to be able to help motivate and inspire others to want to make the changes for themselves not because they've been told they have to do it," she said. 

Alex, who was a former senior teaching assistant, said she never thought she would be in a position to help others feel better about themselves. 

"For me personally, although I knew I was good at my job, I always ranked myself a lot lower than the higher ups. 

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"But now running a business myself, although I'm self employed, we have a great support network from my manager and the slimming group as a whole. 

"I feel like I've grown as a person," she said. 

The group meets offers attendees the opportunity to take up their activity programme that runs along side the eating plan, with members starting at their own pace and gradually building it up. 

"We relax, we joke and we share, it can take you to a place of real deep thinking. 

"Patients can also go to the doctor's and get 12 weeks free slimming, backed by a proven system that reduces diabetes, blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

"We try work hand in hand with the GP to let them know what that particular person has achieved in group, we're trying to build bigger connections with the NHS in our area for the future," she said. 

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