On the trail to recovery

The Friends of Millhouses Park and Vulcan Rotary Club have got together to set up a cardiac walk around Millhouses Park, with posts set at regular intervals for recovering heart patients to walk around. Our picture shows, from left, Tony Cosens, Chris Farris, John Brighton and Roger Hart.
The Friends of Millhouses Park and Vulcan Rotary Club have got together to set up a cardiac walk around Millhouses Park, with posts set at regular intervals for recovering heart patients to walk around. Our picture shows, from left, Tony Cosens, Chris Farris, John Brighton and Roger Hart.
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Patients recovering from heart conditions are receiving help to boost their strength with the launch of a new walk around a city park.

The Millhouses Heart Trail has been set up in Millhouses Park, and features a series of 21 marker posts spread around a one-and-a-half mile route.

The walk has been designed by former cardiac patients, and is intended for people needing gentle, structured exercise as part of a rehabilitation programme.

John Brighton, treasurer of the Friends of Millhouses Park - who worked on the project with Sheffield Vulcan Rotary Club - said the trail was the first of its kind in Sheffield.

“I’m absolutely delighted with it, it’s something that’s very personal for me,” said John, aged 65, who underwent a heart by-pass operation last year.

“It’s a flat walk and it’s easy - it’s what is needed after heart surgery.

“I had problems with my heart for a number of years and had stents fitted, but it got to a stage where the doctors said I had to get the by-pass done.”

John said: “When you come out of hospital you are expected to attend exercise classes for some weeks afterwards, and then start doing your own exercise.

“We wanted somewhere where people can start at the cafe and then walk out at ever-increasing distances until they are back to their full strength again.”

He said the idea for the trail sprang from a talk about the park which he gave to Vulcan Rotary, and that his friend Roger Hart, a member of the club, was the ‘driver’ behind the project.

“Roger has had a by-pass too, and we’ve both used the park to take exercise. The trail is something we’ve wanted to do for a while, so we joined forces,” John said.

The etched stainless steel marker posts are set at 100metre intervals.

Walkers recovering from heart surgery are advised to start by walking as briskly as they can between any two posts, then increasing the distance to 200metres when they feel able.

As people feel fitter, they can increase the distance again, until they complete the full heart trail.

John said funding was provided by the Rotary Club. Money was also donated by the council.

“We’ve got a pile of projects coming up in the park,” he added.

“We’re having a new climbing block, and we’re putting in beehives, a classroom and new toilets.”