Local members of a weight-loss company have raised £3,275 by donating clothes that no longer fit to charity.

The Galashiels Slimming World groups collected 131 bags of clothes, shoes, homeware and accessories to donate to Cancer Research UK.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of how keeping a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer.

Slimmers donated clothes they were confident they wouldn’t need again after following a weight-loss plan.

Claire Ford, who runs the Galashiels Slimming World groups at Galashiels Rugby Club, said: “I can’t quite believe how many bags we managed to collect, and the fact we found some gold ones too, I can’t wait to see if any of my members are winners! I knew my members were amazing, but I didn’t expect such an incredible level of effort!”

The fundraising is part of the national campaign Big Golden Slimming World Clothes Throw, which ‘goes gold’ this year for the 50th birthday of the weight management organisation.

The campaign included the chance to win a VIP shopping and makeover experience for anyone who found a golden bag, and the Galashiels group was among the lucky ones.

Last year the groups raised a record of £3million in two weeks, and since 2012 the partnership has generated more than £12million worth of stock.

Claire said: “Seeing members donate their too-big clothes is just the cherry on top for me as a Consultant. What I find so special is seeing members transform before my eyes as they lose weight.

“Many go from shy, apprehensive individuals who join with their confidence at rock bottom. When I look them in the eye and tell them they absolutely can be the size they want to be and that I truly believe in them, things start to change.”

The company tackles the many challenges faced by people trying to lose weight, including the guilt that some feel about food.

Claire explained: “Members learn to remove feelings of guilt around food, and instead feel empowered by all the Free Food they can enjoy on Slimming World’s healthy eating plan Food Optimising.

“Through Food Optimising, they learn to change the way they think about food by making changes to the way they shop, cook and eat, and they lose weight without ever feeling like they have to restrict a thing or go hungry.”

Groups are run by community-based consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques. Claire Ford is the consultant for Galashiels.

She said: “So many people don’t know how much of a difference losing weight can make to health – including reducing the risk of developing a range of problems including some types of cancer.

“I’m so proud of my members and their efforts. They really do put their heart into everything they do. Whether it’s their weight loss, supporting each other each week or raising money for charity. They continually blow me away!”

Anyone who would like to find out more about Slimming World or the Big Golden Slimming World Clothes Throw is invited to get in touch with Claire, who runs the Galashiels group every Wednesday at 9.30am, 3.30pm, 5.30pm or 7.30pm at Galashiels Rugby Club, Netherdale. Or call Claire on 07515631485.