Minibus boost for health scheme

Pictured with the Fit 4 Health minibus at Swinsty Reservoir are from left: Grant Dorward, Julia Ellison, Carl Niblett, Morag Caunt, Lynne Moore and Val Dorward. (s)
Pictured with the Fit 4 Health minibus at Swinsty Reservoir are from left: Grant Dorward, Julia Ellison, Carl Niblett, Morag Caunt, Lynne Moore and Val Dorward. (s)

PEOPLE with mobility problems can now take part in a beneficial health scheme thanks to the delivery of a new £36,000 16-seater minibus at a Knaresborough-based charity.

The arrival of the minibus at the Yorkshire Yoga Centre means the charity is now able to expand its pilot Fit 4 Health GP Exercise Referral Programme throughout the Harrogate district helping those with mobility impairment.

Free ‘health walks’ are part of the charity’s Fit 4 Health Nordic Walking scheme, accredited by the national ‘Walking for Health’ programme.

Practice Manager Nick Bentley from Beech House Surgery in Knaresborough said: “The flexible format, the one-to-one supervision and the low cost combined to make it an attractive facility for patients. We support this scheme and would like to see longer term funding being put in place for this.”

To get a free 45-minute assessment with a qualified consultant at Yorkshire Yoga, people need a referral from medical staff at a GP surgery.

The Fit 4 Health consultant will prescribe a supervised exercise programme to take place during the ten to 12 week pilot period leading up to Christmas. The subsidised fee will cost the referred patient £2 per session.

Referred patients will be able to use the new fitness room with its WREN-funded Balancemaster, remedial parallel bars and ceiling hoist. The room also has a tilt table and MotoMed for wheelchair users.

A Nordic Walking 4 Health class for beginners will be starting on Tuesday mornings - a new addition for the Stage 2 pilot of the Fit 4 Health programme. Both stages have been funded by a Big Lottery Awards for All grant totalling £10,000.

If you’ve been considering a return to modified exercise after a period of being sedentary, ask medical staff at your local surgery for a referral or contact Yorkshire Yoga at 9-10 Halfpenny Close on 01423 864343.

This is also the number to contact if you’re interested in hiring the minibus or becoming a volunteer bus driver. For more information, see www.fit4health.org.uk or email info@fit4health.org.uk