One of Braintree’s oldest residents is joining thousands of people aiming to shed weight as part of their New Year’s resolution – aged 99.

Betty Lodge, of the New Deanery Care Home in Bocking, has signed up to become a member of Braintree Slimming World group in a bid to lose weight ahead of her 100th birthday in June.

Betty is understood to be one of the oldest slimmers in Essex seeking to revert back to her old “model figure” and she has already lost several pounds.

She said: “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.”

Ms Lodge has cut out foods high in carbohydrates, such as potatoes and bread, in a bid to lose weight.

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.

Betty has been joined by a number of other care home residents who are all looking to lose weight at the group.

The pensioners were inspired to join after home manager Jane Sadowski and administrator Diana Russell lost more than six stone between them after signing up to the Braintree group.

The duo now take Betty and two other residents with them to each Slimming World session held at the town hall.

Consultant Carley Day provides personal support to the Deanery residents, weighing them each week.

She said: “It’s wonderful having the ladies from the New Deanery along to Slimming World.

“They are 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.”

Diana added: “Our residents are definitely outshining us and they are all losing weight steadily.”

For more information about the Braintree Slimming World group, which meets every Tuesday, contact 07979 525006.