WE CAN DO IT: Pound for pound boost for our campaign

Jackie Liddle (centre) with Hartlepool Arriba! members who are taking part in the fundraising
Jackie Liddle (centre) with Hartlepool Arriba! members who are taking part in the fundraising

A PIONEERING nutritionist and health coach has thrown the weight of her latest community challenge behind the Mail’s We Can Do It appeal.

Pounds lost in weight will be pounds gained in cash when the latest Hartlepool Arriba! 12-Week Community Weight Loss Challenge has its final weigh-in next month.

As part of the novel classes which have transformed the lives of scores of people across Hartlepool the top three biggest losers pick up hefty cash prizes.

Now Hartlepool Arriba! supremo Jackie Liddle, who herself runs the challenges alongside a team of qualified coaches, has pledged to donate a pound for every pound in weight the trio loses to the ongoing Hartlepool Foodbank appeal.

The award-winning health coach, who has previously raised money to help buy a replacement PlayBus for Hartlepool Families First, is a firm believer in community projects.

The Hartlepool Foodbank campaign hopes to raise three tonnes of non-perishable food which will be made up into parcels to help needy people over the coming months.

The Mail launched its campaign after it emerged that 28.6 per cent of Hartlepool children are living in poverty.

Churches across Hartlepool are involved in the programme, which has the backing of Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond and town MP Iain Wright. Apart from the cash boost Jackie is also asking members of the current challenge to donate items to the appeal.

Jackie, of Bishop Cuthbert, said: “The 12-Week Community Weight Loss Challenges really do benefit an amazing amount of people in Hartlepool and this campaign will do the same.

“Hopefully by donating one pound in cash for every pound lost by my top three in the latest challenge we will be able to raise a decent amount of money to benefit those who need our help.

“It also gives an added incentive to members of the current class to lose as much weight as they can as they know they will not only be improving their own lifestyles but also the wellbeing of those less fortunate.

“I will donate the equivalent of their weight loss as the higher it is the more weight my class will have lost and that is great news for everyone.”

Schoolteacher Paul Martin, who won the last 12-Week Community challenge by shedding almost 43lb said it was typical of Jackie to help a deserving cause.

The 39-year-old IT teacher, of the Clavering area of Hartlepool, who enrolled on the latest class to maintain his weight loss, said: “It adds another element to the challenge as we are all local people and there is a great community spirit.

“The top three will know that they have not only achieved their personal goals but also helped a worthy cause.”

Fellow class member Dom Miller sees it as another spur in his determination to top the class come November.

The 25-year-old supply teacher, who lives in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool, said: “The classes are great fun to start with but this adds another element.

“It is great to be able to improve other people’s lives while improving your own. I set out to win the challenge and now I’m even more determined.”

So far, the likes of supermarket giant Asda and NHS primary care services provider IntraHealth have made hefty donations towards the Mail appeal.

Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator Al Wales said: “It is fantastic to see the Hartlepool community backing this appeal.

“We are extremely grateful to Jackie and her class for their support which will no doubt help us achieve our target.”

● The 12-Week Community Weight Loss Challenges are held every Tuesday at Brierton Sports and Community Centre, Brierton Lane, Hartlepool from 6.45pm.

The challenges cost £39 for an initial class and a further 12 sessions with prices of £300, £200 and £100 paid out dependent on class sizes.

Other challenges are also held at various times and days at other locations across Hartlepool.

Details of the classes can be found at www.arribahartlepool.co.uk