Staff of a Wrexham department store are seeing far less of their manager since the start of the year – but it’s all in a good cause.

George Lees, manager of the M&S store at the Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre, has shed more than two stone since January 5 and is aiming to drop another stone and a half to reach his target weight.

The sponsored slim is in aid of the town’s Nightingale House Hospice as he is being sponsored by family and friends which is helping to keep him motivated.

George got the weight loss bug after his wife, Caroline, encouraged him to set a New Year’s Resolution and introduced him to Slimming World.

He said: “I knew I was way over my ideal weight and just got interested in doing something about it. I cut out bread and amazingly the weight started to fall off the first week.

“I also started home cooking more using healthier ingredients and stopped having too many Chinese take-aways. It’s been amazing.

“After losing nine pounds in the first week it has slowed up a bit but it’s still falling off. I’ve not told anyone what weight I was to start with, I’m keeping that secret but let’s just say I was horrified when I first weighed myself.”

However, losing so much weight has also hit George in the wallet as he has had to invest in a whole new wardrobe.

He said: “It’s crazy I’ve had to send three suits, one of which was almost brand new that I got just before Christmas, to the charity shop and buy new ones along with new shirts. However, I do feel so much healthier and have more energy.

“It’s great getting home from work and having the energy to play with my daughter Evelyn. I’m able to do so much more.

“I decided to fundraise for Nightingale House as it’s our dedicated charity here at M&S, Eagles Meadow and it will keep me on track although I have no idea how much I will raise.”

M&S restaurant assistant Jane Jarvis is herself also trying to lose weight and is also being sponsored in aid of Nightingale House.

She said: “George has done fantastically well. I’ve lost a few pounds and it’s slowly coming off but I can’t compete with George.

“He looks so much healthier, he’s done amazingly well and he’s certainly inspired me to work harder at my own weight loss.”

Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley is delighted George and Jane are both fundraising for Nightingale House through the sponsored slim.

He said: “What a great way to keep motivated! It’s clearly working for them and in particular George who has lost a spectacular amount of weight and I’m sure he feels better for it.

“I wish them both well and I’m sure they will both reach their target weights so long as they keep going.”