A Trowbridge couple worked together to lose more than eight stones between them after joining the North Bradley Slimming World branch.

Super slimmers Dave, 49, and Ali Bartlett, 50, of Ramsbury Walk, joined the group in January 2012, vowing to make improvements to their diet and shed pounds.

Now the pair, who have been married for 28 years, have been crowned the branch’s couple of 2013 after nurse Mrs Bartlett lost 3st 7lbs and her husband, who works at MoD Corsham, shed 5st 41/2lbs.

They are now through to the national final and the winning couple is due to be revealed on March 3.

Mrs Bartlett, who works at Trowbridge Hospital, said: “What inspired us was the fact that my daughter, Sarah, had gone out to Australia and we couldn’t fit in the aeroplane seats.

“At the time, we thought she was staying permanently and we didn’t want to keep feeling like that if we went over.

“Friends and family have been really supportive, as have colleagues. It hasn’t stopped them bringing in the chocolates to work, but I’ve been strong.”

By September last year, Mrs Bartlett had gone down to her target weight of 12st and last month Mr Bartlett dropped to 14st.

He said: “I think what really worked for us was losing weight together, because it meant we spurred each other on and – with the support of the group, too – we stayed motivated. And I suppose there’s been a little bit of healthy competition, too.”

The Bartletts remain an active part of the North Bradley group, which has 80 members.

Mrs Bartlett collects the subscription money and Mr Bartlett weighs in the club members.

Hannah Beeson, who runs the group, said: “We are over the moon with the progress that Dave and Ali have made.

“It is a fantastic thing to see and they are a very active part of the group.

“The group is really friendly and we encourage people to keep going.

“We have a few men as members, but we’d be happy to welcome some more, as I think some men think it’s just for women, but, if they come along, they’ll realise it’s good for them, too.”

The group meets every Tuesday, at 5.30pm and 7.30pm, at North Bradley School, Church Lane.