Challenge Groups prove a huge success!!

As a spin off to our Facebook support groups and to help boost vital funds for HOOP UK we set up a New Year Challenge group.  This was closely followed by a ‘Spring into Summer’ Challenge group.

Members of HOOP UK donated funds to join the group in return for expert help and advice on how to improve their diets, increase exercise and alter their mind set. They were challenged daily about how they view themselves and their relationship with food.

The funds raised by the challenge groups will allow HOOP to continue to invest in our members and achieve our vision and values.

Over the course of the two groups, both lasting 12 Weeks each, we have seen many truly incredible success stories.

Members have stepped out of their comfort zone and undertaken challenges they would never have dreamed of, all with the help of our resident lifestyle coaches Helen Hopping and Heather Jayne Wynn,  our Fitness coaches, Mark Flewitt and Leigh Alliss, and not forgetting Cherie Brine who walked everyone on virtual road trips around Europe and to every corner of the USA.  We are forever indebted to them for their time and their commitment.

During our latest challenge many attended a weekend Bootcamp, hosted by Mark Flewitt and Heather Jayne Wynn .

They helped our members reach new levels of awareness and understanding…….that they could do anything they wished if they just believed in themselves.

The weekend has left a lasting impression on those who attended and they are continuing their journey using the techniques and tactics they learned during this very informative and HOOP focussed weekend.


Some of the testimonials from our members:

SC: I have really enjoyed the challenge and have found the daily posts from everyone both inspirational and thought provoking. They have made me think about me and my own situation. I have been challenged to get my steps done every day and get in the pool and push myself. Thank you all for the chance to be in a safe, private place to find myself. Count me in for the next one. X

MN: Yes very helpful. Helped me to focus. Also helped that there was always someone there with tips and advice. Always someone to say” come on you can do it”. It also felt good to help others. Not just a one hour slot at a club.

SJC: Yep very helpful as HOOP is really my only source of support. It’s pushed me physically, emotionally and mentally. I will miss the support. Thank you for everyone who made it possible x

 CB: I’ve loved it, Helen’s posts have really helped me focus and I loved Leigh’s exercise videos. All the professionals involved have been amazing at supporting the members and the love and support shown by the members towards each other has been lovely to see.

SL: I have found it a great motivation, the road trip really encouraged me to walk and the daily posts and thoughts really made me think. I would like to say a massive thank you to all of those people who made it happen, you have all done a brilliant job, and I for one can’t wait for the next one!

SA: This challenge has been brilliant. The commitment from the whole team of people behind this is incredible, from the inspirational posts and daily challenges, exercise hints and tips and the continued support of all the amazing admin here. I know I have done things that I wouldn’t normally do just because of the challenge and that alone is worth it.

 CB: If anyone is in two minds about Bootcamp, please just do it. Since doing the July camp I’ve been like a changed person. Today I’ve had a great time in an adventure playground going up climbing walls and whizzing down slides, climbing trees and doing hill rolls with the children. Don’t sit on the side-lines, life is for living go give it go.

JE: Well I thought I had myself mostly figured out and together before going to Bootcamp….The talk, the friendship, the support kind of made me unravel but build back up a stronger more determined person and I am “enjoying the ride” instead of just doing it. Cannot stress enough how amazing the experience was x


We thank everyone who took part and helped make these groups and experiences a massive success. You are an inspiration!! If you are interested in joining our main Facebook Group please click the link below and send a request to join…….Our next Challenge group will be announced soon.



Fundraising for HOOP UK


The team at HOOP UK would like to thank everyone for their continued support.

Your generosity has helped our Donated items/ Auction page to raise in excess of £10,000 since we opened it 2 years ago. Every penny of which went to furthering HOOP’s work across the country.

So far this year we have raised £455.41; Let’s keep our efforts going in order for us to continue our support of those struggling with obesity.

To donate an item to raffle or Auction please use the ‘contact us’ via the website.

Or direct message us on Facebook


The HOOP UK “New Year Challenge Group” is now in its final week and between them they have successfully raised a staggering £1,400 whilst losing 98 stone 7lb, or 625.5039kg in weight so far.

We would like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone involved in making the challenge such a success.

There are all sorts of other ways you can get involved to help us reach our goals.

Please visit our Fundraising page for further details

Thank you for supporting HOOP UK


Second Phase Community Champions Join HOOP UK

We are delighted to announce that HOOP UK have now recruited another seven wonderful Community Champions.

This makes a total of eleven operational Community Champion groups across England.

HOOP UK would like to say a great big THANK YOU to all of our Community Champions who work so hard and bring so much enthusiasm to the project.

This past weekend induction training, run by Sue Dinsdale and Jill Tipping, was held at Hempstead House Hotel and Spa.

Beth Clegg and Abigail Newman, Community Champions from the first cohort, came along on the Sunday to meet the new CCs and answer questions.

Good luck recruits!


Our new magnificent seven are:

Donna Lovell – HOOP Swindon

Helen Simpson – HOOP North East Engalnd

Jane McLellan – HOOP Paignton/Torbay

Louise Rooke – HOOP Lincoln

Maria Loft – HOOP Thurrock/Essex

Christopher Lee Satchell – HOOP West London/Middlesex

Toni Birch – HOOP Nottingham


Winter Wonderland Ball a HOOP success

winter ball 2November was full of cheer as HOOP UK’s members attended a star spangled Winter Wonderland Ball at Manchester’s Hotel Football.

Arranged by HOOP Ambassador, Sarah Le Brocq and winter ball 5Stephanie Ledigo of Ledigo PR, the event was help in Mid November in aid of the charity.

HOOP was pleased to welcome Patron Dr Chris Steele (ITV’s This Morning) and Ambassador Charlie Walduck were guest speakers. It also featured an intimate performance by Jake Quickenden (X Factor and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here).

A fantastic time was had by all and HOOP would like to thank Sarah and Stephanie for their tremendous hard work to make the ball such a spectacular success.


winter ball 4winter ball 3winter ball 6winter ball


Holly-Ann’s children’s weight loss camp dream comes true

HOOP UK members raise funds to send Holly-Ann to a fabulous children’s residential summer camp ruhollyann 3n by MoreLife to help 8 to 17 year old’s lose weight and win confidence. Holly-Ann’s mum tells her inspirational story.

I was at a very low point in my life. My daughter anhollyann 4d I had a very volatile relationship; she had an eating disorder and felt we weren’t being supportive. Already a member of HOOP, I was introduced to the charity’s FAMILY HOOP group by another member. I quickly made friends with other parents in the group and it was suggested I look into a summer weight loss camp called MoreLife. To be honest, I was at desperation point by then but how would I fund this place? I approached my GP and even appeared in the media.

I’d contacted charities, the bank, friends and family to raise funds but to no avail. In the end, the ‘good old hoop members’ and HOOP UK  funded Holly-Ann’s place as part of a fundraising initiative called “Lynnehollyann1’s dream”. I was totally overwhelmed excited and nervous … for Holly.

When it came to my daughter being at camp, she was emotional at times and excited at others. She would telephone home and tell me how well she had being doing and how it was filled with lots of activihollyann 2ties.

I got to meet some of the staff on camp at Parents weekend; they were really nice and genuine. When I saw my girl for the first time after 2 weeks, I noticed a significant change in her posture and self-esteem. I was overwhelmed; the last 3 weeks seemed to go so quickly, I found my relationship with Holly-Ann was coming back.

Her dad and I picked her up from camp when it ended. It wasa sad day for all the campers, parents and staff and there were a few tears from all … such an overall amazing experience giving a child a new lease of life. My daughter is now part of the cross country team. She’s making healthier and better choices. It is with thanks to MoreLife and HOOP and their members, who invested in her future.

Winter Wonderland Ball

hoopball (1)It’s that time of year again. The Hoop Ball, a time for all us Hoopies and partners/friends to gather and have a great night raising funds and awareness for Hoop UK.

A fantastic evening has been planned with a 3 course meal and entertainment. We also have special guests Dr Chris (Resident Dr on This Morning ITV) and 2 of HOOP’s Ambassadors.  This Ball is all about YOU! Don’t miss out on this event. For tickets please visit the BOOKING WEBSITE.

HOOP member Alice’s inspirational fundraising by competing in first ever triathlon

HOOP UK would like to thank member Alice for raising an amazing £225 by competing in her first ever triathlon. Well done on your truly amazing achievement Alice. 

I realised my weightAlice 1  had no bearing on my ability to do things that made me feel good when I read an article that my personal trainer, Chris, gave me to read about a man who had weighed about the same as me and who had done a triathlon. We chatted about what was involved in undertaking a triathlon during my fitness session and the more I thought about it the more I realised I wanted to have a go at taking part in one. I suggested people who would probably join me in a team effort. If I could get a team together it would mean that one person would do the swim part, another the cycle part and yet another the running part. I thought I could do the swimming, my cousin (Helen) is a brilliant cyclist who has done triathlons before and my friend James runs to keep himself fit. Before the end of my session I had my team planned, Chris had found me a date for a triathlon that was taking place in 3 months time and I was full of enthusiasm to ask Helen and James if they were up for taking part with me. They were and Helen entered us into the event! Heck, I was a size 30 and I was going to swim 800 meters in a real triathlon event. I was very nervous about taking part being the size I was but then again, why should my size stop me from doing something that I wanted to? I had read so many stories about people who were going to achieve their ambition as soon as they had lost so many pounds or stones. I didn’t want to be added to that list. I wanted to show that I am about more than my size.

I knew that I would be the weakest link in our team and so I set about a tough training regime, swimming 5 or 6
times a week and having my weekly session with Chris. I was aware that people would look at me when I went swimming but I decided that their opinions would not stop me achieving my ambition. The amount of support I received from people in and out of the pool was unbelievable and I never felt any negativity towards what I was trying to do. I did have moments where I doubted my ability, particularly the thought of standing among committed athletes at my size in a swimming costume. That was a very intimidating thought. I did not know how they would react. Chris assured me I would not be ridiculed by my fellow competitors and alice 3he was right.

On the day of the event I felt sick. I looked out of the car window and saw fit people with expensive bicycles and other athletes warming up. I the biggest entrant by far and for two pins I would have got back in the car but I had my 2-year old twins with me and I was not going to let them see me quit!

I went to sign for the timing chip. As the swimmer of the team I would be taking part first. It was too small to go around my ankle but it would go around my wrist. I thought, ‘there’s something else to make me stand out’ but at least it meant I could take part. It sounds a simple enough challenge to swim 800 meters then run 100 meters as fast as I could in front of spectators (with no water to hide under – eek!) then hand the timing chip over to the next team member.

In the changing room it was scary – it was the first time I had worn my costume among athletes and I felt terrified. I wanted to take a towel to wrap around me when I went to stand by the poolside but that was not allowed because all the swimmershad to be ‘pool ready’. While I was waiting for my turn to start my swim a lady next to me wished me luck, told me it would soon be over and reassured me that I would be ok. Also, as I looked at the people gathered to watch I saw that nobody was laughing or staring at me.

I got in the water and all my nerves turned into determination to do well. I remember looking up as I was swimming and hearing my children shouting, “Swim like a fish mummy!” By the time I had swum my 800 meters I didn’t care less about talice 2he spectators – I had to get the timing chimp to Helen and that was all that was on my mind. I ran as fast as I could and I could hear her shouting to me that I was doing great. I was so focussed that it wasn’t until after she left on her bike that I realised I was stood in the middle of a field in my swimming costumes with no towel to wrap around me and I had to walk through car parks to get back to the changing room! And still nobody was laughing at me; I was accepted as a triathlete who had given her all. My trainer, Chris, came running up to me and told me how proud he was of me. I felt on top of the world! Helen and James both did marvelously in their sections and we finished 8th out of 22 teams. We were all very happy with the result and I didn’t stop smiling for about a week. I had achieved a dream and I am a triathlete.

As a member of the HOOP community I am aware that lots of people don’t have the courage to follow their dreams and ambitions due to their size. I hope my story shows that if you believe in yourself and put in the work that is needed everyone can try to make their dreams come true. My foray into the world of triathlons has led to a love of open water swimming and since then I have taken part in The Big Swim which is a 1.5 kilometre open water swim and next year I intend to swim the length of Lake Windermere. I’ll let you know when that’s done!

HOOP member Cathy’s fantastic fundraising by completing Greenwich Park 5k run

A huge thank you from HOOP UK to member Cathy for fundraising by running her first 5k at Greenwich Park. A great personal achievement and inspirational story. Keep it up. 

I found out about HOOP (UK) agreenparkbout 18 months ago after watching Fat, The Fight of my life (the first episode I saw featured our lovely Beth Clegg). This series left me feeling so inspired, todiscover that there is hope, if others have overcome obstacles then so can I! Since then I’ve been trying to challenge myself because if nothing changes – nothing changes!

Last October I completed my first 5k at Greenwich Park. I almost backed out at the last minute due to nerves as I thought I was going to look silly in front of all those professional runners. I’m so glad that Sharon Pritchard talked me out of it! Her words of wisdom of aiming to complete, not compete is something that I’ve held onto ever since. I did complete it and I also raised £285 for HOOP (UK).

About six months ago, my friend suggested that I might like to take part with her in The Thames Bridges Challenge, a 20km trek from Putney Bridge to Tower Bridge crossing 16 bridges along the way. This little voice within me came from out from nowhere and said ‘Yes!’

Over the summer months I started walking, just short walks at first and each time I tried to walk that little bit further. I’d have a walk around the local park, into town, in the countryside – sometimes with friends as it’s nice to walk and talk, and sometimes alone where I could think about things. I took part in a couple of 5k Race for Life events at Epsom and Hyde Park and had a couple of longer training walks
The challenge day arrived – again I didn’t feel prepared! The day started with a rain shower, my journey to the start was a challenge in itself due road closures and missed train connections – but I didn’t give up which put me in good stead for the actual event itself. The clouds disappeared, the sun came out and after our Zumba warm up off we walked. It was tough and I had to grit my teeth at times to get through it – I had to stretch out a calf cramp I got up a flight of stairs at Waterloo Bridge, dodge the busy crowds at the Southbank and the shoulder ache from my rucksack on that final stretch. The strange thing is that even during these uncomfortable moments I did enjoy the experience and would do it all again! Walking with others made it a pleasure and they really helped me focus on the good things going on when I needed it.

The best thing about accomplishing something outside of your comfort zone is not just the happiness and buzz you get, but also knowing that at the same time a great charity like HOOP (UK) is also benefiting. At the moment I’ve raised £300 for this challenge.

HOOP member Jo’s inspirational story

Jo has been a member of HOOP since March 2012. Below is her story. Well done Jo you are a true inspiration.

My story is… I mjo ensor 1arried my first love at almost 17, he was Indian. His family was religious and believed in arranged marriage so were not happy about us marrying. We then had a daughter. Both myself and my daughter were kept secret from all his family, even his brothers. We only visited if just his mum was in and if people knocked on the door me and my daughter were hidden in another room. My husband would go and stay at his mum’s for weekends or even weeks at a time if family visited so they would all think he was a good Hindu boy waiting for an arranged marriage. He would never be seen out in public with me in case he was seen by extended family which made me feel “not good enough” and I took comfort in food.

I was completely controlled. I worked and my wages were paid into his bank, he did the food shopping, sorted the bills etc. I had to go to college in secret while he was at work. He found out 2 weeks before my exams and destroyed the books. Life continued like that for 10 years until one night he told me he no longer loved me and left. No explanajo ensortion, no warning, just went. I was devastated. I found out 2 weeks later that he was having an affair with my best friend who he is now married to and has a child with. All of his family know about his new wife and child which made me feel even more that I wasn’t good enough.

I continued to eat and get bigger while my husband had his happy new life with a size 6 ex best friend.

Now I look back and see that they both did me the biggest favour as I deserved far, far better. I am now with the real love of my life who married me at nearly 35 stone and loves me for me. My weight loss is for him as well as me so I can live as long as possible with him. I truly believe things happen for a reason. For me I’m getting healthier, happier and am meeting some amazing people along the way.

Sharon’s great fundraising efforts

Sharon has been a member of HOOP since 2013. Below is Sharon’s story. We would like to thank you for your great fundraising efforts. 

IMG_1806Two years ago, at the start of my weight loss journey, I had a crazy idea that, one day I wanted to complete Tough Mudder. On Sunday 13th September 2015 that idea became a reality and I waded through 12 miles of mud and 26 incredibly challenging obstacles in the Cheshire sunshine to raise money for HOOP and to prove to myself that I could do it.

It took every ounce of grit and determination but, with the support of my team mates and fellow FullSizeRender (5)mudders, I made it through ice baths, electric shocks, high fences, enclosed spaces, tear gas, falling backwards into the unknown and mud, lots and lots of mud!

It’s a challenge that tests you to your limits mentally as well as physically, living up to its name, but that feeling as I crossed the finish line was amazing, such a great sense of achievement and pride in myself and my team mates.

I’ve raised about £150-£200 for HOOP.