UKSE's Steve Lyon (left) & Paul Wilkinson (right)

Business owner to help tackle lockdown weight gain and the region’s nutritional poverty line 

A South Yorkshire entrepreneur has vowed to help people across the region to tackle their lockdown weight gain with the launch of a new nutrition and healthy lifestyle coaching business.

Inspired by the latest figures by Public Health England which suggest that more than 40% of British adults gained an average of 3kg during the pandemic, Slim Up North was founded by performance nutrition graduate Paul Wilkinson earlier this year.

The healthy living coach, who also works in social care as part of the early help team, said he was also motivated to launch the business after witnessing the devastating impact of the pandemic on people living below the national poverty line.

Ideally, to do this Paul plans to apply for more grants, so he can help those who cannot afford the expenses of a nutritionist. He wants to reach out and support his local community by offering nutritional advice and accessible plans for adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Paul began his journey as Slim Up North earlier this year as health-conscious friends sought out his help, after the interest, he moved his services online and to his surprise enquires took off.

Despite the clear opportunity, Paul’s aim was not to go down the commercial personal trainer route, rather he stuck to his ethos to help people in need to achieve long term sustainable healthy lifestyles.

Slim Up North had to establish itself quicky, this wouldn’t have been possible without a UKSE kickstart grant – a business that invests in steel areas across the UK – this allowed Paul to quickly set up a professional home office to talk to clients and create a personal brand.

Commenting on the venture, Paul Wilkinson: “After finishing my post graduate course at the beginning of lockdown and seeing the devastating effect it has had on people, I felt the need to help people in my own way.

“Working in social care has allowed me to do that but I want to use my professional skills and education to take it further. I want to help build confidence and self-esteem while reducing the risk of developing metabolic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

“Without the help of UKSE I wouldn’t have been able to pull my business together in such a fast turnaround, for that I am very grateful.”

Steve Lyon, Regional Executive at UKSE said: “Paul’s ambition and work ethos, in helping our more vulnerable communities establish healthy lifestyles is a something to really get behind.   Covid has affected many people in different ways and his drive to help people is admirable.”

“It is fantastic to see the company blossoming with the help of the funding provided from UKSE, I wish him the best of luck moving the business to its next stage.”

UKSE also provides loan and equity finance of up to £1m to existing companies which are growing, particularly those creating jobs.