Free exercise sessions to help people with Parkinson's

Free support is being offered in Berwick to people with Parkinson's.

Tuesday, 13th February 2018, 12:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th February 2018, 12:16 pm
The Swan Centre sports centre in Berwick.

A new partnership between Parkinson’s UK and Active Northumberland is seeing specialist exercise classes at the Swan Centre.

The free sessions, which started last week, take place every Thursday, between 10.30am and 11.30am.

The scheme, accessed via a one-off GP referral, offers a tailored plan to suit all ranges of fitness and abilities.

It will remain free until March 29, when the sessions will cost £3.

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Vivienne Rogerson, area development manager for Parkinson’s UK, said: “Exercise is particularly important for people with Parkinson’s as research shows that two-and-a-half hours a week can help slow the progression of symptoms.

“Exercise also has a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health so we are encouraging anyone with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s to come along to the Swan Centre on Thursday or get their GP appointment booked for a referral to the scheme.”

Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure, said: “Our instructors are professionally qualified and are there to help, advise and support those who wish to make activity a regular part of their life, regardless of their medical conditions or limitations.”

“Within all our centres we run a very successful GP Referral scheme where doctors and other health professionals refer individuals who they feel would benefit from physical activity to help them improve their medical conditions.

“The new Berwick exercise classes for people with Parkinson’s are an extension of this work to support and assist residents in the area who have the condition.”

Coinciding with the exercise sessions, Parkinson’s UK will also be holding a Parkinson’s Café, between 10.30am and noon, at the centre weekly for people with the condition to gather in a friendly, informal setting and have a chat.

Vivienne added: “Although exercise is important, we recognise that many people might not want to dive straight into fitness classes so we are holding an open social event to coincide with the exercise sessions so that people can come along, find out more, or just meet others in the same situation for a talk and a tea.”

To find out more contact Vivienne Rogerson on 0300 123 3670 or email