A KILBIRNIE man is quite literally half the person he was after losing almost 13 stone.

Andrew Butler 30, has been supported by social care charity Cornerstone in Largs.

He started on a healthy eating and regular exercise plan last year in order to lose weight for health reasons after tipping the scales at 25 stone.

Andrew, who has autism and is supported every day in his own home by a team from Cornerstone, was suffering from diabetes and hip problems before he started the diet, managing to shed the weight in around 18 months.

As a result of the weight loss, Andrew now has a new lease of life. He no longer has diabetes, and he has taken up weekly line dancing, as well as joined a local ukulele band and started music classes at Paisley West College. He also enjoys walking, playing snooker and going ten pin bowling.

Support Worker John Rankin was so inspired by Andrew’s success that he nominated him for an Outstanding Achievement Award at this year’s Cornerstone Awards. Despite not winning, everyone who knows Andrew was very proud of him.

John said: “Andrew is a very inspirational young man and is a pleasure to support. He really is a credit to his parents and the staff who support him.

“About six months ago, I introduced him to my ukulele band, the Neilston Strings, and he has amazed everyone with his singing and playing. He often joins us on a Monday evening for practice.

“He has also started line dancing, which he loves, dancing each week for two and a half hours.

“Since taking up his college placement, he has made lots of new friends and mixes very well with the other students.

“He also recently went on holiday with support from Cornerstone staff. Andrew has come such a long way from where he was previously.

“His parents and friends have noticed a huge difference in him – since losing the weight, he is now a lot happier within himself.”

Andrew’s father John said he and his mother Agnes were very proud of their son for lots of reasons, losing weight being just one of them.

“We are delighted for him,” he said. “Andrew has adjusted well to living in his own tenancy, which he moved into just over two years ago, and he now has a lot of interests, including playing in a ukulele band which he really enjoys.”