TWO Skipton residents have spoken of how a health and weight management programme has helped them each lose around a stone in weight during lockdown.

The free service in Craven called Healthy Lifestyles Weight Management Programme, was commissioned by North Yorkshire Council and delivered through Craven District Council.

The service had to suspend face-to-face activities during lockdown and instead has offered a remote service.

Jo Hardiman, from Skipton, is full of praise for the programme advisors Hannah Storey and Mark Hampton.

“I’m absolutely over the moon with the way the programme has worked for me,” said Jo. “I’ve tried to lose weight several times, but this is the only thing that’s worked for me. I’ve really enjoyed becoming much more active. Hannah has been brilliant – she’s so encouraging and I love the circuits that she showed us, which I’m now doing daily. She’s also been sending new ideas on a regular basis on our WhatsApp group, so we all still feel very supported.

“I’ve found the remote offer really useful. Whilst it was obviously preferable to be able to have our group meetings together, I’ve been able to continue the programme and feel I’m still making good progress. Hannah’s weekly phone call is also a great motivator. She’s definitely keeping me on track. Altogether, I still feel very supported and I’m really appreciative of still having the support available in such strange times.”

Hannah said: “It’s been a pleasure having Jo on the course, she has been motivated right from the start. During the group sessions, Jo was an encouraging member of the group.

Charlotte Robson, also from Skipton, struggled initially with carrying on the programme under lockdown, but has now made it work for her.

She said: “It has helped me in so many ways. I’m thinking more about what I eat, looking at food labels and really trying to balance my food better. It’s changed the way I think about food for my children, too. The weight loss is one thing but the re-education and awareness of what I’m eating has been something I didn’t expect.

“It has been so hard to stay on track in lockdown. I eat or bake – or both – when I feel stressed or upset and this situation has triggered all of those emotions. I felt so gutted at the beginning of the lockdown, as it was going so well.

“Mark’s phone calls have really helped me to stay on track. I think if it wasn’t for those calls I probably would have fallen off the wagon and put all the weight back on. It just gives you that incentive each week. I’ve now set my own target, based on another five per cent loss for the next 12 weeks so I can stay on track.”

Mark said: “Like many people, Charlotte also found family life under lockdown initially quite unsettling, which had a negative impact on her diet and exercise levels.”

For further details of the programme in Craven go to: