Slimmers who gave £1 to an Ilkley food bank for every pound they lost have handed over their donation.

Seven people took part and managed to lose a total of 77lb – 5.5 stone.

The project was run by clinical hypnotherapist Rachael Armstrong, who works at the Happiness Centre in the town’s Railway Road.

Each participant was given four hypnotherapy sessions, which focused on changing their eating habits.

The slimmers were also asked to listen to a hypnosis recording every day to support the sessions.

The method is designed to safely change a person’s eating style, resulting in positive changes, including feeling satisfied on smaller portions and controlling cravings.

The technique also involves visualising and imagining how you want to look and feel, so these desires are communicated to the mind to act upon.

Sarah Robinson, 38, who has lost one stone and 2lbs so far, said: “Having tried diets before, I felt that during that time I was thinking more about food and wanting to eat more than before I started the diet.

“I think it was because I knew I was on a diet so the more I thought of food the more I wanted to eat, but it was never the right things.

“With the hypnotherapy you know you are not on a diet so I never think of food like I did back in my diet days.” As well as the weight loss itself, people enjoyed the beneficial effects it brings, including relief from pain as less body weight presses on joints, improved sleep, stress reduction and increased self-confidence.

Rachael, owner of Progress Through Hypnosis, said: “The sessions were fun as no-one had tried hypnotherapy before so people got to enjoy a new experience while making changes to improve their health and helping a good cause.

“The method is not guaranteed to work but, for those who are committed to it, it has.

“They are now feeling happier and enjoying the results of improved health.

“It is more than just about fitting into clothes. Those involved have made positive changes to their lifestyle and to protect their future health.”

Items bought with the money raised were donated to the Churches Together Ilkley food bank and the shopping was handed into the charity’s collection point at Tesco in Springs Lane, Ilkley.

Rachael had received a “shopping list” of the food bank’s most-needed products, mainly personal hygiene items, including toothpaste, sanitary products, soap and washing powder.

Rachael said: “I was surprised at the shopping list from the food bank and to hear how many people are going without basic healthcare items, so I am very grateful to those who took part and contributed to the donation.”

Wendy Ribbands, co-ordinator of the Churches Together food bank, said: “We are very grateful for this thoughtful and generous gift.

“The food we collect goes to local people or to the Salvation Army in Keighley.

“There is a great need, as people face many challenges every day to feed their families.

“We continue to be thrilled by the generosity of local people in their donations to our boxes in Tesco and Booths.”