After almost two decades helping people slim down a Helston group leader is facing a loss herself by saying goodbye to her members.

Suzie Hackland is retiring after nearly 18 years as a Slimming World consultant and is handing over her group at Helston Light and Life Church off the Water-ma-Trout industrial estate to Rachel Earl.

Rachel will be relaunching the group, which meets on Tuesday evenings.

She discovered Slimming World after putting weight on following her wedding in 2008.

Rachel said: "I guess because I was happy, I wasn’t really thinking about gaining weight. The weight gain was gradual and to start with I just started wearing either black or baggy clothes to hide myself and ‘look thinner’, but I had lost my confidence and made excuses not to go out.

"I wanted to exercise but I had little energy and was conscious of my body.

"The turning point for me came when we decided to book a holiday to Rhodes in June 2019, and I couldn’t fit into any of my summer clothes – I didn’t want to feel bad about myself anymore."

Falmouth Packet:

Rachel before and after her weight loss

After a couple of missed attempts, she eventually found her way to Slimming World - flanked by her dad for moral support and to prevent her running again.

"I couldn’t believe it when I was told there were no restrictions - I could still eat potatoes, pasta and have the occasional gin and tonic!" she said.

She reached her target weight of more than two stone lost in December last year, having also made exercise a big part of her life.

She described being part of a group as an important part of her success, adding "I couldn’t have reached my target without them" - which was why she was excited to now be launching her own.

Rachel said: "I cannot wait to start my own group and my new role as Slimming World consultant.

"As someone who has lost weight I understand the challenges that people face, which is why I, along with the group, will be there to support each one of my members every step of the way to their chosen target.

"Sharing recipes, fitness ideas and working together as a group to celebrate every success and overcome any challenges – this is so important to a successful journey."