Wandsworth Council hands out vouchers to get people to lose weight
Hundreds of weight-loss vouchers are being handed out in a bid to tackle rising obesity levels.
A similar scheme in Roehampton saw 460 people take up the challenge.
Those involved are taking part in weight loss classes, a stop smoking service, or cooking lessons for 12 weeks to earn gym access for six months at either Latchmere Leisure Centre or Battersea Sports Centre.
Studies from 2012/2013 show, within Wandsworth, 9.8 per cent of children at reception age (five or six) were obese. Levels doubled to 20.2 per cent for year six children (aged 10 or 11).
Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govinda, said: "The council wants to give people on the Winstanley and York Road Estates the tools to transform their lives.
"This extends way beyond the council's aim to see physical improvements on the estates to a much bigger desire to support more people to make the most of all the opportunities around them."
Ravi Govindia: 'Give people tools to transform'
Weight loss company Slimming World is playing a large part in the initiative, having been approached by Wandsworth Council to accept pre-paid vouchers so residents can participate for free.
More than 100 people have signed up to slim down since March, and the council plans to buy 600 vouchers from Slimming World at a cost of £4.95 each.
The programme has been so successful there are plans for classes to be held in six more venues in addition to those at Dimson Lodge, Battersea Church Road.
These will be at Roehampton Methodists Church, and the Lennox Community Centre, in Roehampton, and in Battersea at York Gardens, Katherine Low Settlement, the Doddington Community Centre and Rollo Community Centre.
To join the weight loss classes you must have a BMI above 25, not be pregnant, and have not been on the programme within the past six months.
An open day will be held at Dimson Lodge, 10am Saturday. Slimming World is also looking for applicants to run the proposed new sessions. Visit slimmingworld.com for details.
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