Shinning efforts of South Yorkshire weight loss leaders recognised

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Three weight loss leaders are sparkling after being awarded a top honour for keeping themselves and others in shape.

Thrilled Jackie Hetherington, Lorna Dewsnap and Tracey Taylor, who run Weight Watchers meetings in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley, have each picked up the Diamond Leader Award - the Oscar of the weight loss group.

Only four out of 100 leaders received the accolade in South Yorkshire and just 60 were given out throughout the whole of the UK.

“We are all absolutely over the moon and we’re shining as bright as diamonds,” said Jackie, aged 44, from Chapeltown.

“The award is only given to leaders deemed worthy of the title every two years - it’s what we all strive for.

“It’s difficult to achieve and once you’ve got it, you want to maintain it.”

The Diamond award is presented to leaders who themselves maintain their personal gold weight, have a high percentage of weight loss in their meetings and a high percentage of members reaching their goal weight.

Jackie, who has been a leader for 13 years, has achieved the title five times while Tracey, aged 43, from Hillsborough, has bagged it six times in her 14 years with Weight Watchers.

It is the first time Lorna, aged 50, from Chapeltown, has made the glittering grade after running meetings for four years.

“It’s about being inspiring to others,” said Jackie.

“We have to be very self motivated to both maintain our weight and to help others reach their target weights.

“All three of us practise what we preach - we know that we need to do it ourselves if we want others to do it too.”

The successful trio agree the best part of the job is seeing their members achieve their goals.

Jackie said: “You become really close to your members. It’s rewarding to see them change shape and grow in confidence.

“To be recognised in this way is nice - it lets us know that we are doing our jobs well.”

The ladies were presented with their Diamond Leader Awards, a bouquet and a badge by their area manager.

Jackie said: “We all feel really honoured and will wear our badges with pride.

“We have a conference in Telford coming up and are hiring a minibus so I think we will have some fizz then to celebrate together.”