Margaret Miles-Bramwell, OBE HonMUniv FRSA
Slimming World is the most advanced slimming organisation in the UK. It was founded in 1969 by Margaret Miles-Bramwell, who remains the driving force behind the company to this day. With the experience of a lifetime's weight problem, it is her enthusiasm and unique vision that has made the Company so successful.
There are now over 12,000 groups held weekly on a nationwide basis via a network of more than 4,000 Slimming World trained Consultants. We welcome 700,000 members to our groups weekly.
Awards and accolades
In 1997, Slimming World became the first slimming organisation to qualify for the Investors in People Award, an award that has been retained ever since. Unlike many companies, our main annual investment is not in marketing. Our investment is in training great people to deliver a service to members that's second-to-none. Slimming World Consultants receive specific training in diet and nutrition and the role of physical activity in weight control. The highly developed training focuses on facilitating behaviour change in a group environment, acknowledged by experts as being the most effective way to support long-term weight management.
Slimming World was awarded sixth Best Company to Work For by The Sunday Times in 2004, achieving Best for Leadership and top three for Giving Something Back and retained its top 100 position for four consecutive years. In 2007, we received the prestigious three star Best Companies award, based on the elite ‘Michelin’ style star rating.
Slimming World founder and Chairman, Margaret Miles-Bramwell was honoured with an OBE in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to the community in Derbyshire and to the field of weight management. Margaret was also awarded an Honorary Degree of Master of the University from the University of Derby in 2010, recognising her remarkable achievement in founding and establishing a Derbyshire company which has contributed to the improved health, happiness and well-being of large numbers of people in the region and nationally.
Charity work and fundraising
SMILES, Slimming World's own charitable foundation, was born in 1997. SMILES stands for Slimmers Making It a Little Easier for Someone, and each year a special charity is chosen to benefit from the enormous generosity of our members, Consultants and Head Office staff. So far, SMILES has raised more than £4 million for worthwhile causes, most recently for Cancer Research UK and the Marie Keating Foundation. You can read more about Slimming World's charity here…
Pioneering work to support more people in managing their weight
In 2001, Slimming World pioneered NHS weight management referral schemes. Slimming World on Referral enables GPs to refer patients whose weight could be affecting their health to a local group for 12 weeks, free to the patient and subsidised by Slimming World. The scheme is now in operation in around 80 Local Authorities across England. Our research shows that referral members who attend at least 10 out of their 12 sessions lose more than 5% of their starting weight, at about half the cost of obesity drugs.
In 2014, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended working in partnership with weight loss programmes like Slimming World, that avoid stigmatising people who are overweight and that offer lifelong solutions.
Slimming World was the first slimming organisation to offer young people free group membership when it launched Family Affair in January 2006. Adolescents aged between 11 and 15 can attend group for free if they are accompanied by a fee-paying parent or guardian, and have the support of their GP or nurse. Around 21,000 young people attend group each year.
Slimming World is the only national weight management organisation in the UK which continues to provide support to members when they become pregnant – a time when women often feel vulnerable and unsure about the way to manage their weight. We work with the Royal College of Midwives in a unique partnership to support pregnant women and breastfeeding mums in managing their weight.
Slimming World invests tens of thousands of pounds in research into weight management, and is currently involved in the DIOGENES European Research Study, the biggest pan-European obesity research project ever undertaken. In 2014 Slimming World research specialist Professor James Stubbs was appointed the Miles-Bramwell Chair of Behaviour Change and Weight Management at the University of Derby and will be leading new research into behaviour change.
Support and services to members
Slimming World magazine was launched in 1998 and rapidly became the best-selling slimming title in the market. Published seven times a year, it's the UK's best-selling title in the health and diet sector with a digital and print circulation of more than 475,000, the highest ever recorded circulation for a slimming title. The magazine holds the top five slot in the actively purchased magazine charts.
In January 2004, Lifeline Online, an exclusive members-only website, was introduced providing Slimming World members with a free, 24/7 support, motivation and inspiration resource. It was followed shortly by Slimming World Online – an online weight loss programme to help those people who can't or would rather not attend a group. As well as unique individually tailored support, members can log their daily food, plan menus, search filling family-friendly recipes, share their own successes and access a range of motivational tools when they need them.
Our Head Office and purpose-built conference centre, where all our Consultants are trained, is in Alfreton, Derbyshire – just a few miles from where the company started, over 45 years ago.
An interview with Slimming World founder, Margaret Miles-Bramwell
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