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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 20:03 GMT 21:03 UK
'Fat farm' teen turns teacher
Colin Ord
Colin Ord could not get funding
A County Durham teenager, who weighed 33 stone a year ago, is to return to a weight loss camp - as a teacher.

Colin Ord, 17, from Seaham, now weighs 25 stone and had applied to health chiefs for cash to pay for treatment at the Yorkshire "fat farm".

The teenager said a special course developed by Leeds Metropolitan University, had proved "a magnificent success" for him when he attended in 2002.

But health officials in Easington had said there was no guarantee further funding of 2,000 could be found for a second six-week residential course.

Now course organisers at the Carnegie Weight Loss Camp, have said the teenager can attend free of charge as an honorary teacher.

In 2002 Colin received funding from Easington Primary Care Trust towards the camp's fees.

But the trust has warned him there may not be cash available this time round.

'Health problems'

The 6ft 6ins tall A-level student said: "I know that 2,000 is a lot of money, but as a long-term investment it would cost the NHS more if I had to have other treatments and operations.

"I have trouble with my joints and what I have gained from the course is magnificent.

"If people stay overweight they can develop health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

""I can't wait for camp. It's such a positive experience and hopefully, this year, I'll be able to help the other kids there too, which will be good."

Course organiser Paul Gately said: "Colin has been involved in our programme now for two years, funded by his health authority.

"Colin still has a weight problem and needs support.

"If someone is being treated with a medicine that is working well, you don't then take it away, but this is what has happened to Colin."

The BBC's Anne Kostalas
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