TWO Liverpool sailors lost more than four stone to raise hundreds of pounds for local charities. Pat Poland, 59, and Tony Redfern, 30, who both work for Mersey Ferries, went head to head in a Battle of the Bulge weight loss challenge to raise money for two local charities. Donations from family, friends and colleagues helped Pat and Tony raise £650 which was split equally between their chosen charities, North West Cancer Research and Alzheimer’s Society. The duo had been looking for extra motivation to help them lose weight and by helping charities which meant something to them; it made it easier for them to stay on track. Pat said: “Tony and I would often moan about our weight to each other. We had been talking about losing weight for ages but always found dieting hard. So we thought if we find something to make us do it, it would give us a boost and perhaps help other people at the same time. “We are both very competitive, Tony is an ex-Royal Navy serviceman and I am a former Merchant Navy seaman, so we introduced the head to head element to create some friendly competition and raise as much as possible. “Having lost my father in his mid-30s to stomach cancer, I know the devastating effect cancer can have on a family – so it was important to me that I did something to help. “Cancer is one of the region’s biggest health problems so I wanted to give something back in whatever way I could to raise funds for a local charity who are doing fantastic work on our doorstep to fund lifesaving research and cancer awareness initiatives. “It was a great way to get healthy, lose weight and raise money for worthy causes. The only downside has been it’s cost us both a fortune to buy new clothes to fit our trimmer frames.” By eating healthily and exercising regularly Pat lost two and a half stones and Tony lost two stones throughout the six-month challenge. Both have even managed to keep the weight off since. Bobby Magee, fundraising manager at North West Cancer Research, said: “We are constantly amazed with the challenges people set themselves to raise money and salute Pat and Tony’s determination to succeed for a good cause. “We are very grateful to everyone in the North West who supports our mission to fund the best cancer research projects which help improve our understanding of cancer and how to better detect, treat and prevent it. North West Cancer Research is the region’s biggest locally-based funder of cancer research, helping improve our understanding of cancer and how better to detect, treat and prevent it. The charity has committed to funding more than £12.3million worth of cancer research over the next five years – £8.1million of which will be based at nearby University of Liverpool.