Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

With losing weight being one of the most popular New Year's resolutions, the Portsmouth Wellbeing Service are ready to help Portsmouth residents who are keen to shed some pounds.

The highly trained staff of the Wellbeing Service work at venues across the city and provide both one-on-one and group support. It's a completely free service.

Paul Tonkins, 63 from Buckland, used the service and has managed to lose over 5 stone so far.

Paul said; "My weight has gone up and down over the years and whilst I was already quite heavy when I retired 18 months ago I managed to put on another 2 stone when I stopped working. I became more of a couch potato and found myself needing to nap as I had no energy. Walking up stairs was difficult too.

"The Wellbeing Service were amazing. One of the best things I learnt with them was portion size. I'd never really thought about this before and found out that I was having about 4 times as much cereal for breakfast as you're supposed to! I massively reduced my drinking as I wasn't thinking about how many calories that was adding. I used to drink most days but I don’t now and when I go to the darts I have diet coke. I've stopped having treats and alcohol in the house and don't snack at darts practice anymore, which I used to do, even though I wasn't hungry. I still have the occasional takeaway but don't add all the extras now like onion bhajis.

"I cycle all over the city and have joined the Mountbatten gym so that I can exercise when the weather is too bad to cycle. They did a programme for me to help with my weight loss and also with the lower back pain I had. I find it much easier to climb the stairs to my top floor flat now, even when I have heavy shopping bags. Overall I've definitely got more energy and don’t find myself falling asleep in the afternoon. I can also keep up with my granddaughter more, which is brilliant.

"Before using the service my Doctor was going to refer me to the specialist obesity service at QA Hospital where I'd possibly need surgery to fit a gastric band to get my weight down but I don’t need to go through this now. I'm one hundred percent motivated to keep following the advice given to me by the Wellbeing Service and am determined to reach my goal weight, which is another 4 stone. I would recommend anyone else looking to lose weight in the city get in touch with the Wellbeing Service as I don’t think I would have achieved this without them."

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said; "Being a healthy weight is so important in helping to avoid illnesses like diabetes and heart disease and it also makes it easier to stay mobile without aches and pains. Losing weight is often easier with support so I'm pleased that we're able to offer a free service for our residents. Slimming groups can be effective but come at a cost and the crucial element that the Wellbeing Service provide is teaching people about healthy eating so that they have the knowledge to continue losing weight once they've stopped using the service. I'm thrilled that Paul has been so successful and is reaping the benefits of being a healthier weight."

The Wellbeing Service can also help Portsmouth residents to quit smoking and reduce how much alcohol they drink. It's part of the widespread offer that the council have to help residents look after their health and wellbeing. This includes activity around mental health, sexual health, substance misuse and keeping older people independent, as well as commissioning school nursing and health visitors.

Contact the Wellbeing Service on 023 9229 4001 / wellbeing@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.