Weight loss club Slimming World is offering free membership to its new virtual service for all NHS workers.

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 free to all NHS staff and a drastically reduced fee of £2.50 to anyone else.

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 5000 Consultants, who are self-employed franchisees, can continue to offer a service, so that they can continue to work and earn their own living during the weeks and months ahead.

Slimming World’s District Manager, Gill Rhouma, 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 onto 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 optional ‘virtual’ group using video conferencing. 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.

Commenting on the temporary virtual service, Gill 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.”

For more information regarding Slimming World visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or contact Gill on 07919 070508.