AWARD-winning charity Healthy Living Blackburn with Darwen has teamed up with the University of Bolton to help its innovative pilot weight-loss programme.

Earlier this summer, the charity launched ‘Aspire’, an intensive weight-loss regime involving healthy eating lessons and lifestyle overhauls.

Although only 12 places were available, more than 100 application packs were requested, with around 60 people attending the briefing sessions.

The University of Bolton had already offered to carry out an academic study of the programme to evaluate its effectiveness, but it has now also offered the charity use of its sports science facilities.

University staff and students will carry out detailed fitness test and measurements on the 12 people on the Aspire programme, repeated midway through and at the end of the six-month programme.

Chief officer for Healthy Living Abdul Mulla said: “We are extremely grateful to the university for this excellent opportunity.

“We always planned to carry out these measurements to show the improvements in the health of the people on the programme, but never to the extent of what the sports science laboratories at Bolton One are offering.

“To buy in this sort of expertise would cost us a small fortune which, as a small charity we simply just don’t have.”