Two young slimmers from Maldon lost eight stone between them to reach the finals of ‘Young Slimmer of the Year 2014’.

The competition, run by Slimming World, was open to those aged 16-21 who had lost more than three stone in a year.

Lucie Nicholas, 20, of Beckingham Road, Tolleshunt D’Arcy, lost 3st 8.5lbs since joining Slimming World last October.

Rhiannon Saffell, also 20, of Cross Road, Maldon, lost 4st 3.5lbs since February 2013.

The pair made it into the final 44 competitors of the competition and met Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who came along to the final.

She said: “I loved meeting all of the young people at the competition, including Rhiannon and Lucie.

“Teenagers and young people get a bad reputation because we think of them all sitting in front of the TV or a computer but the young slimmers I met, like Rhiannon and Lucie, have shown that their health is important to them and that given the right tools it is possible to make positive changes whatever your age.”