Help at hand for a healthier year

Whitby people are being urged to give blood in the new year due to a shortage of donors.
Whitby people are being urged to give blood in the new year due to a shortage of donors.

Help is at hand for people in the Whitby area who are making it their New Year’s resolution to improve their health.

To celebrate the start of 2016, limming experts from Whitby are sharing their secrets for successful slimming to help local people make their healthy New Year’s resolutions a reality.

Jo and Sal , who run the local Slimming World groups in Whitby, say: “Lots of people will be making resolutions to lose weight and improve their health this New Year.

“Successful weight loss isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about keeping it off too.

“Making temporary changes and going on a ‘diet’ that’s unsustainable in the long-term will only ever be a quick fix, meaning you’ll sadly be bound to regain any weight you lose – and maybe more – as soon as you go back to your normal eating habits.

“If you really want to live happy for the long term, the key is to make healthy, realistic changes to your lifestyle that you can keep up for the rest of your life.”

Slimming support, advice and inspiration is available at the Slimming World group which runs every Wednesday at Sneaton Castle, at 9.30am, 11.30am, 5pm and 7pm; or Thursday at Eastside Community Centre, at 5.30pm and 7.30pm and Fridays 9.30am.

Smokers wanting to quit will also have a wider range of support available in the New Year, through the Smokefreelife North Yorkshire service.

The New You specialist stop smoking service currently provided by Harrogate Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will transfer to Solutions4Health on January 1.

The new service will be called Smokefreelife North Yorkshire, and can be contacted via 0800 2465215 or 01609 663023. The new website – – has advice.

Innovative healthcare provider, Solutions 4 Health has been commissioned by North Yorkshire County Council to offer smokers a diverse range of support to quit smoking.

Meanwhile, Dry January – the national campaign to get people to take control of their health and cut down on the amount of alcohol they consume – is being backed by the county council.

Dry January encourages people who drink alcohol regularly to give it up for 31 days.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, said: “Alcohol-related hospital admissions are increasing all the time, and – shockingly – nearly 200 people die every year in North Yorkshire as a result of alcohol abuse.

Having a break from alcohol for a month can benefit people by improving sleep quality, and reducing stress – because alcohol is a depressant. It’s also a good way to lose weight.

And with less than three per cent of people aged 17-70 giving blood in the last year, NHS Blood and Transplant is after some first-time donors to replace those who can’t donate any more, and to ensure it has the right mix of blood groups to meet patient needs.

Amanda Eccles, Senior Marketing Coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s easy to sign up and book your first appointment using our website and mobile apps.”

The next blood donor session on locally is at Whitby Leisure Centre on January 28.

Visit or call 0300 123 2323 to find your nearest session.