Barry’s weight loss struggle inspires mother to launch new company

The launch of Barry’s Journey at K Bar Ipswich

The launch of Barrys Journey at K Bar Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A mother inspired by the plight of her son has started a new company in Ipswich helping people with special needs to get fit and healthy.

The launch of Barry’s Journey at K Bar Ipswich

The launch of Barrys Journey at K Bar Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The venture was set up by Mary Hunt after she discovered there was no specific support available for her son, Barry, who was born with Down’s Syndrome, when he needed to lose weight.

The community interest company - Barry’s Journey - will enable people with additional needs to go to the gym, maintain a good diet and prepare their own food.

“Barry hasn’t got the cognitive ability to recognise he has a problem with his weight,” Ms Hunt said.

“Since his early 20s he has struggled with being overweight - he is only 4ft 10ins.

“We knew we had to do something so we took him to Slimming World and he lost three stone but at Slimming World it’s all about being able to understand the diet. I sat in the club with him but if I wasn’t there doing it for him there would be no way he could follow it. I was doing all his cooking, everything. I knew then there was a niche in the market.”

Ms Hunt, who is the managing director of Beyea Health Care, has linked up with DW Fitness to launch the company.

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Clients who sign-up to Barry’s Journey can get a six-month membership to the gym, with a one-to-one personal trainer. Support staff from Beyea Health Care will work with people to draw up a programme of health and wellbeing. A range of everyday menus - Barry’s Recipes - will also be available to help clients eat well in their own homes.

“We want to make sure everybody has the best opportunity to look after themselves and we know that keeping people healthy will lead to happier lives and help reduce the cost of treatment and support people might need dealing with preventable conditions,” Ms Hunt added. “Barry’s Journey is a way of helping anyone with supported needs to keep themselves healthy and making accessing support even easier.”

The official launch took place at K Bar in Ipswich which is backing Barry’s Journey and will be including some of the recipes on its menu to raise money for the initiative.

Anyone interested can contact Mary Hunt on 01473 212205, email or visit

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