Snettisham mum Sophy saves herself a packet by giving up smoking

Giving up cigarettes has helped young mum Sophy Tarsey save �40 a week - and given her back her health.

She says her life has been changed by NHS Health Trainers who helped her turn over a new leaf, quit the demon weed, take more exercise and eat better.

She feels healthier and happier –and can afford to buy the family a few extra treats with the money she has saved.

Sophy, 36, is a teaching assistant at St Edmunds Primary School, in King's Lynn.

She lives in Snettisham with her husband Paul and two children.

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She smoked for 20 years, starting like many because of peer presssure.

Sophy said it was easier than expected to give it up with the support she received.

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She said: 'It has made a huge amount of difference to my life. I gave up smoking in February and haven't touched cigarettes since.

'I have more energy, I have fewer colds, I can taste food better and I have a better sense of smell and I've got a bit more money for the things I want to buy.

'The support I got from James Yallop, my health trainer, was really important. He supported me all the way.'

James met regularly with Sophy to offer support because she has tried and failed to quit before.

'He brought along a Smokealyser, a carbon monoxide detector which Sophy had to blow in, to prove that she was not falling back into bad ways and having a crafty cigarette.

He is one of a team of health trainers who have been recruited from communities in King's Lynn, Norwich and Thetford.

They work one-to-one with clients, supporting them to make the lifestyle changes they want. Some people want to quit smoking, some want to lose weight and others may want to change their exercise and diet to give themselves a new lease of life.

Vicky Mitchell, King's Lynn Health Trainers co-ordinator, said their service is not a quick fix – it helps people achieve sustainable improvements in their lifestyles.

'This is a great example of how health trainers can help people achieve their health goals and maintain those changes. Congratulations to Sophy,' she said.

'Anyone considering changing their lifestyles and behaviour to improve their health should contact us.'

Jennie Pusey, who commissions Stop Smoking services for NHS Norfolk added: 'More than ever before, giving up smoking makes sense, both in terms of your health and your purse.'

Sophy signed up to the King's Lynn Health Trainers scheme in February specifically to give up smoking.

However she was also supported to improve her diet and exercise.

As a result she is now a regular runner. She completed a 5k run for charity in July and is planning to run 10k to raise money for the RNLI in December.

'Give it a go,' she said. 'I found the Health Trainers very helpful. For me it was life changing. That sounds dramatic but it is true.'

Anyone who wants to follow Sophy's example can call the King's Lynn Health Trainers scheme on 01553 782629. People living in Norwich can call 01603 625093 and in Thetford call 01842 757341.

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