Is Betty Braintree’s oldest slimmer?

By 4th January, 2019 News No Comments

 Braintree care home resident Betty Lodge says she had a model figure until she was 90 but now, at 99, she may be the oldest slimmer in town.

Carers at The New Deanery Care Home in Bocking, where Betty now lives, have been taking her to Slimming World at Braintree Town Hall for the past three months.

Before Christmas she had lost six lbs of the stone she aims to shed. Betty explained:

“I became less active when I was 90 and started putting on weight. I’m using a wheelchair now and it’s difficult to get much exercise. Going to a slimming club helps with my objective to lose weight.”

Betty is determined to achieve her goal, cutting out potatoes and bread with her meals, although she allowed herself a few treats over Christmas. She has been given a helping hand by The New Deanery’s award-winning chef Paul Westall and his dedicated catering team who have been providing lower calorie snacks and desserts to help the slimmers.

Julia Clinton, CEO of Sonnet Care Homes which runs The New Deanery and neighbouring St Mary’s Court, explained she had been attending Slimming World herself, along with home manager Jane Sadowski and Administrator Diana Russell (losing six stone between them).

After Betty and some of the residents said they were uncomfortable with their weight, the staff invited them to come along to the slimming club. Now Betty and two other residents travel with them to the Town Hall. 

Slimming World consultant Carley Day is supportive, opening early each week to allow the trio to be weighed ahead of the main group. Carley said:

“It’s wonderful having the ladies from The New Deanery along to Slimming World, they’re all so much fun to have in the group and their carers are also either members or have become part of the group in their supportive role.

“It’s really important to me that our groups are accessible to all members of the community and if that means that support staff or family are required to enable that person to access the group then that’s absolutely fine and we’re happy to be as flexible as we can. Weight loss can really make a difference to many age-related illnesses. Betty and the other ladies are a wonderful example of what can be achieved later in life and that it’s never too late to make a change.”

The New Deanery’s Diana Russell said; “Our residents are definitely outshining us and they are all losing weight steadily.”

Betty, who will be 100 in June, moved to Braintree with her late husband over 40 years ago, previously training as a hairdresser to aristocratic clients in Wardour Street, London. She has a daughter, two granddaughters and five great grandchildren.

In early December, Sonnet Chef Paul Westall won the Diet, Nutrition and Hydration Award for the second year running at the Essex County Council Prosper awards, and Activities Manager Jo Whitehouse and her team won the award for Activities and Wellbeing.

To find out about accommodation, respite care, and day care with Sonnet Care Homes, please call 01376 328600 for St Mary’s Court or 01376 558555 for The New Deanery, or visit or

Picture:  Betty Lodge with Slimming World consultant Carley Day