Every year thousands of people make their new year’s resolution and pledge to lose weight, get fit and find the ‘new them’.
This January Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice is setting out to help the people of Leeds to achieve this elusive goal through their innovative fundraising campaign Leeds’ Largest Loser.
Over 10 weeks starting January 26 2015, a group of supporters of all ages, fitness levels, shapes and sizes will be challenged to lose as much weight as possible whilst raising vital funds for the hospice.
Entry is £50 per person with a fundraising target of £200 and includes 10 week gym membership at one of many partner gyms across Leeds, including Oulton Hall, Cookridge Hall, TruGym, LAFitness and The Village Gyms.
Participants will also have access to weekly classes as well as expert nutritional advice and motivation.
Mark Winterbourne and Jason Pearce took part in the event in 2014. They both lost over five stone in weight and have together raised around £1500 for Wheatfields Hospice.
Mark says that the event has changed his life for the better. He said: “My wife Elaine and I are so much happier and healthier since we got involved in supporting Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice. After Leeds Largest Loser we both got bikes and have started cycling every day. The Hospice has had such a great impact on our lives that we try and get involved however we can.”
In September 2012 Elaine’s younger sister, Anne, came into the care of Wheatfields Hospice when her lung cancer had progressed. She stayed in Wheatfields for around two weeks before going home.
Elaine said: “One day Anne said she had to go back into the Hospice for some more pain control; I knew at that point she wouldn’t be coming home. The Hospice was incredible. They looked after her and our family so well; it was like she was at home. I didn’t realise how a Hospice worked until we needed them.
“Anne died in October 2012. I had spent so long looking after her and our family, that I had not really had the chance to manage my own emotions. After Anne’s death the Hospice arranged some bereavement counselling for me. This support was crucial to me and made a huge difference.”
Raising £200 by taking part in Leeds Largest Loser could pay for 12 bereavement sessions at Wheatfields Hospice for someone, like Elaine, who has lost a loved one.
To find out more please visit www.sueryder.org/largestloser or call 0113 203 3360. You can also tweet @SRWheatfields using the #LeedsLargestLoser, or you could Like their Facebook page and send a message.