A WOMAN from Worcester who leads several Slimming World groups has spoken about how rewarding her job is and how much it means to help people improve their lives.

Samantha Crosswell, 44, has been a Slimming World leader for the last 18 years.

Looking back, she said; “My weight loss was never huge, only ever a couple of stone, but I used to go to the group regularly.

“The lady who led the group decided to leave and I was asked if I would like to take over.

“That was 18 years ago, since then I have taken on another group and started my own morning group a couple of years ago.”

Sam is keen to stress that Slimming World is not necessarily a diet, and more of a lifestyle change.

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She said: “It is more of a healthy way of life and what I get across is that we are not handing you a diet or restricting, it is getting into healthier eating habits.

“All diets work if you stick to them, but as soon as you come off them you put all that weight back on.”

Another aspect of the groups is the support each member lends to their fellow slimmers.

Sam said: “The help and support members give each other is what is really special.

“We have got lots of members who have been at their target weight for a long time and still come to give support to their friends and get support from their friends.

“I am always really proud of the difference losing weight can make to a person’s life, not just in terms of health but confidence.

“I am just as proud now of it as I was 18 years ago.

“I recently had a member tell me that, for the first time in her life, she went to see a consultant and they were happy with her weight.”

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Slimming World, set up in 1969 by Margaret Miles-Bramwell.

Rather than be a diet, the programme encourages members to make lifestyle changes and be smarter about what they eat.

Sam has got a lot planned for this year's anniversary, which takes place this week.

She said:"We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Slimming World this week so we are going to have parties and events for our members.

"We have got games, prizes and fancy dress competitions so it will be really special."

Sam is taking over the Whittington Slimming World group to cover for group leaders who have left.

For more information, contact Sam on 07775757036.