Slimming World launches virtual service to support members at home during coronavirus pandemic
In response to the need to suspend its 19,000 community groups across the UK and Ireland because of the coronavirus pandemic, Slimming World is announcing the launch of a new temporary ‘virtual’ weight loss service.
The service will enable Slimming World’s members to continue to enjoy – in a virtual environment – the vital weight loss support, but also the friendship and community spirit, they find in their local group each week. The new service also means that 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 says: “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 platform Zoom. A Slimming World Consultant will host their 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 at a time when access to food is changing. 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. All of this will be combined with ongoing use of social media, and access to Slimming World’s app and member-only website LifelineOnline, which will provide them with all the practical help they need, as well as advice about how to stay physically active and psychologically strong.
In these anxious times, the community spirit and the genuine care we provide has never been more important.
Commenting on the temporary virtual service, Caryl says: “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.” – Ends –
Note to Editors:
Existing Slimming World members will pay a discounted fee per week (usual weekly fee is £4.95/€9) for this service.
Members who choose not to join a virtual group will retain their access to Slimming World's app and member-only website LifelineOnline for eight weeks from w/c March 16th, when Slimming World Consultants were last able to run groups.
Slimming World is offering NHS/HSE workers free membership of a virtual group as recognition of the sacrifices they’re making for the health of our nation.
About Slimming World
Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. There are now more than 19,000 weekly groups supporting 900,000 members across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Groups are run by a network of 5,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques. Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by people who are overweight and recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating, encouraging and empowering members to make changes in a supportive, warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.
For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk. Follow Slimming World on Twitter at www.twitter.com/slimmingworld or become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/slimmingworld
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