FIRST Responders leader Sal Thompson has hit the right note with her life-changing weight loss.

Sal, 57, from Knutsford, is chairman of Knutsford Community First Responder Trust and the singer in covers band Sapphire.

After putting on the pounds over a number of years, weight gain not helped by enforced inactivity following knee operations, she decided enough was enough.

She joined the Monday night Slimming World group at St John’s Church on January 8 last year, and in only 12 months is within a few pounds of hitting her target of losing five stone five pounds.

Her achievement has seen her drop from a size 22/24 to a size 14.

“Sal is such an inspiration to all our Monday members,” said Slimming World consultant Vicky Harrison.

“She has shown everyone how losing weight every week is possible even when you’re on holiday and during Christmas.

“She has had an amazing life-changing year, and has truly turned her life around. I am so proud of her and all she has achieved.”

Key to Sal’s success in losing weight have been the support of Vicky and her group members, and the backing of her husband Peter, 57, who has lost three and a half stone, and is now no longer pre-diabetic.

Sal said: “I’m in a band called Sapphire, and can now stand in front of the audience and sing with confidence and pride.

“I no longer feel embarrassed to be there or quietly unconfident when having my photo taken.

“I’m a lot more active, confident and at ease with myself. A year has made such a difference, and if I can do it anyone can. This could be your year.

“My target was to lose five stone five pounds in a year, and I can’t believe I’m almost there.”

Sal and her husband are members of Knutsford Methodist Church, and their new trim figures have attracted numerous compliments.

She joked: “People from the church have said – ‘who are these new members?’

"My favourite meals include fish pie with sweet potato topping, spaghetti bolognaise with swede mash, and anything else my husband cooks up because he’s an ace cook and has embraced the Slimming World way of cooking. He has also lost 3.5 stones, so we know it works.

“Temptations when out on the town, from other people and nibbling after hours can be hard to resist sometimes, but I’ve now switched to frozen grapes as my emergency sweet treat.”

To join the group call Vicky on 07768 951941. Sessions are on Mondays at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at St John’s Church, and Tuesdays at 9.30am at Knutsford Sports Club.