Ever since we temporarily closed the doors of our real-life Slimming World groups and welcomed members into our virtual groups, we’ve been looking forward to the day when we can open them again. Now, as lockdown measures ease across the UK and Republic of Ireland, we’re delighted to be returning to real-life Slimming World groups where possible from 17th May 2021.
Whether you’re a Slimming World member already or you’re thinking about joining, we want to reassure you, our number one priority is to keep you, your Consultant, your families and your weight loss success safe and sound.
That’s what Slimming World member Janet found when groups were briefly allowed to reopen last year. She said: “Once I got in there, I felt really safe and relaxed… it looked lovely. Now I’m raring to go!”
When you return to your real-life group, you’ll notice a few changes to how they run – at least for the short term – with your safety firmly in mind. Consultant Matt (@slimmingworldboy) had an amazing first week back with his members, saying:
“It feels good to be back in my Slimming World groups again! Some great feedback as to the venue set-up, everyone felt safe and loved all the health and safety measures put into place. Everyone’s motivated to kick-start a new week!”
While these measures are likely to reduce as the guidance changes, here’s what you can expect as we move from lockdown to slim-down!
Slightly smaller, shorter, socially distanced groups
We’ll be welcoming a maximum of 25-30 members to each group. Sessions will last around 45 minutes – that’s 15 minutes for that moment of empowering accountability when you step on the scales, plus 30 minutes of the invaluable inspiration and motivation you get each week from your Consultant and friends in group.
To help them maintain social distancing, your Consultant will ask you to let them know which session you’ll be attending.
Protecting you and your Consultant
If you’ve been to a Slimming World group before, you’ll spot a few changes when you arrive. These are to help everyone feel as safe and comfortable as possible, and will include:
- a one-way system to help you safely move around the room
- ‘sneeze screens’ to ensure you and your group’s social team can remain safe at the scales
- posters and floor markers to help everyone maintain the right social distance
- wipes/hand sanitiser provided for use throughout the session
- seats placed at least 1m apart
For the time being, we’ll be asking you to:
- wear a face covering
- bring your own drink – either in a flask, bottle or can – until we can safely reopen the kitchen facilities
- keep your shoes on at the scales (and you might want to wear the same shoes each week)
- bring your own pen to fill in your progress page…
- …and your own carrier bag if you’re planning to visit the shop
- plus your own personal wipes/hand sanitiser to keep your hands clean and – to help keep yourself, your Consultant and other members safe – to wipe down your chair at the end of the group
- pay by contactless if possible
If, at any point, you experience symptoms of COVID-19 – that’s a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – please follow the government’s guidance to stay at home and please let your Consultant know, so they can continue to support you until you’re able to return to your group.
Extra precautions in group
For your wellbeing, there may be certain parts of the Slimming World group experience that take a little longer to return, including the interest table, tasters, the Slimmer of the Week Free Food basket and the raffle.
Because of the social distancing guidelines, we’re sorry to say that – unless the venue has allowed it – the loos won’t be ‘open for business’. Your Consultant will be able to let you know.
Our promise to you
While we have to put certain changes in place – for everyone’s sake – there are some things that we promise won’t change.
- Whether it’s virtually or in real life, we (that’s your Consultant and Slimming World!) promise we’ll be here for you – to support you on your weight loss journey – every single week.
- We promise that, no matter what challenges you’ve faced since we were last together or what the scales say, you’ll only ever find understanding, care, compassion and help – and never judgement or humiliation.
There really is no better place to find the hope, the determination and a new sense of control; no better place to help you get back in the driving seat and on your way to achieving your dream weight – and to hold on to it forever. Together is better. And together we really can do it.
We hope that this information helps to reassure you that we’re doing all we can to reopen our groups as safely as possible.