Exercise scheme that has helped 15,000 Sheffield patients celebrates tenth anniversary

Steve Brailey, chief executive, Sheffield City Trust, and the trust�s group exercise referral manager, Dave Birds celebrates 10 years of success for the Exercise Referral scheme.
Steve Brailey, chief executive, Sheffield City Trust, and the trust�s group exercise referral manager, Dave Birds celebrates 10 years of success for the Exercise Referral scheme.
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A Sheffield health scheme that has helped thousands of patients has celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Sheffield City Trust’s Exercise Referral Scheme uses physical activity to help people manage conditions including coronary heart disease, muscular skeletal diseases and respiratory illnesses.

The scheme was launched by the trust at Concord Sports Centre in March 2005.

Over the last decade it has expanded across five venues in Sheffield and now operates in two city GP surgeries.

Patients receive a 12-week tailored physical activity programme, which includes activities such as low-impact circuit training.

Around 60 per cent of patients referred to the service continue with exercise at the end of the 12 weeks.

More than 15,000 patients referred from 107 surgeries around the city have been helped to overcome health problems through the scheme.

One patient, Tony Marsh, from Wincobank, said: “I had a heart attack at the age of 52 and I thought I’d never see the birth of my grandchildren.

“Following a tailor made exercise programme resulted in huge changes in my fitness and wellbeing.

“The difference it has made to my life is incredible.”

Dave Birds, who is the head of the scheme, said: “We’re dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the local community.”