Healthy teachers top of the class

left to right, Steph Morton and Denise Middlemiss, of Red House Academy, with health trainers Yvonne Dunbar and Corinne Coull.

left to right, Steph Morton and Denise Middlemiss, of Red House Academy, with health trainers Yvonne Dunbar and Corinne Coull.

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TEACHING staff at a Sunderland school are top of the class when it comes to weight loss.

A group of women teachers and teaching assistants at Red House Academy, in Sunderland, have been enjoying lessons in healthy eating and weight loss and have shed 5st 2lb between them.

The seven workmates took part in a 12-week weight management course run by health trainers from NHS South of Tyne and Wear.

They improved their eating habits, learning about healthier options and portion sizes, and set their own goals in a personalised plan.

Teaching assistants Steph Morton and Denise Middlemiss are both delighted with their weight loss.

Steph said: “Being in the group definitely helped because we supported each other and that kept us going.”

Denise added: “Not only have we lost weight, but we know now what to look for in the future in terms of what to eat and portion sizes.”

Regular weigh-ins were held at the school on Red House Estate. The group was given information on nutrition, including what to look for on food labels, eating out and balanced diets.

Loraine Humble, community manager at Red House Academy, said: “Here at the Academy, we are very interested in developing opportunities to improve health and wellbeing for staff and adults in the local community.

“The weight management courses are just one example of how, by working with our partners, we are able to do this.”

Health trainers are helping people across Wearside to improve their lifestyle.

The experts, from NHS South of Tyne and Wear Community Health Services, are urging people in Sunderland to make 2011 a year of living healthily.

The health trainers offers free support, on a one-to-one basis, to make changes to everything from eating better and shedding the pounds, to giving up smoking and being more active.

The team can also help people with their general wellbeing and put them in touch with other appropriate services.

They also run the successful group weight management courses.

Corinne Coull, senior health trainer, who organised the course at Red House Academy, along with her colleague, Yvonne Dunbar, said: “We are delighted we were able to help.

“They have all improved their eating habits and, as well as dropping a dress size, they say they feel healthier and have more energy.

“Our health trainers are happy to organise weight management courses at workplaces and in community groups across Sunderland.

“We find that, by being in a group, clients feel motivated and supported to set their goals and achieve them. If they do have any individual issues we are always happy to speak to them one-to-one.”

For more information about the free support offered by NHS South of Tyne and Wear’s Sunderland health trainers, tel. 502 7164 or email jane.taylor@sotw.nhs.uk