Body and Brain
The day Allie McCormack revealed she had been pelted with flour by bullies, her mother Lesley she knew they had to make a drastic change.
Her overweight daughter had long been the punchline of cruel jokes at school. Allie had struggled to stay slim ever since she started taking an epilepsy drug at the age of five.
The pill caused Allie to pile on the pounds and though she switched drugs when she was seven she turned to comfort eating as her size had left her struggling to make friends.
When she went to secondary school in 2009 she was nicknamed 'Fatzilla' by fellow pupils.
'I knew it was going to be awful for her, little did I realise just how bad it would become,' Lesley, 43, said.
Then when Allie was physically assaulted in May 2010 she told her mother she had started getting suicidal thoughts.
'I was desperate to get help, she was so unhappy,' said Lesley, who lives with her daughter in Salford, Manchester.
Allie, who was then 12-years-old was 4ft 9in tall but weighed 13.7st and had a 40inch waist.
So Ms McCormack started searching for something that would help her daughter deal with her weight issue and boost her self-esteem.
She came across the CWM Health's residential summer camp - the first camp set up in the UK to help overweight children.
The eight-week course held at Woodhouse Grove School in Yorkshire rejected a bootcamp philosophy. Instead it focused on making sustainable changes and building confidence.
TYPICAL CAMP MENU
Fruit juice and fruit. Bacon sandwich OR cereal and toast
Bagel/pitta with a variety of fillings OR soup with French bread, and sponge cake or fruit
Vegetarian cottage pie OR turkey stir fry and noodles with salad, jelly OR fruit
A typical day included three one-hour classes such as boxercise or basketball and at least one lifestyle lesson, such as learning about portion control.
Lesley appealed to her PCT, MP and even Downing Street for a referral, but was repeatedly turned down.
'The doctors would not listen and blamed me for Allie's weight,' she said.
Finally she turned to her family and managed to raise the £5,000 to send her privately.
It gave Allie the kick-start she needed to turn her life around. The 13-year-old is now 5ft1" but is 3st lighter tipping the scales at 10.9st. She has also lost 10inches from around her waist and has been able to reduce her epilepsy medication by 20 per cent.
Lesley said: 'She is happy and she looks incredible. Allie is a true inspiration to everyone who knows her.'
She added: 'Attacking children or their parents about what they're eating isn't the answer.
'I want to reach parents who are not getting help. We feel bullied to. You stay behind closed doors because every time you open them you get judged.'
Allie plans to return to the camp for a fortnight this year after the fees were donated by the health insurance company Simply Health.
'Allie is so excited she's going back', Lesley said.
'The camp showed her she can be who she wants to be.'
CWM Health, was founded in 1999 by Professor Paul Gately. The summer camp is open to referrals from doctors and PCTs who fund placements, but this year referrals have halved as NHS spending cuts take effect.
For more information about CMW Health visit www.cwmhealth.com