The Stroke Rehabilitation group at the Reigate and Redhill YMCA ~ join the club
PUBLISHED: 18:54 28 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:39 20 February 2013
In this month's Join the Club, we meet the inspiring members of the Stroke Rehabilitation group at the YMCA in Redhill
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2013
In this months Join the Club, we meet the inspiring members of the Stroke Rehabilitation group at the YMCA in Redhill
Name of club: The Stroke Rehabilitation group at the Reigate and Redhill YMCA
Person interviewed: Alan Littlewood, 65
Role: Currently the longest serving member
In a nutshell: The Stroke Rehab class meets once a week for one hour of assisted exercise in the gym, followed by a social get-together when we bring out the tea and biscuits!
When was the club set up?
Firstly, it has to be said that this isnt a club that people choose to join for recreational reasons! Although we often do have the feel of a club, it must be remembered that our members are all here following either a stroke or stroke-related serious illness.
The Stroke Rehab class began over 14 years ago, when it became apparent that there was a need for additional support to be given to those recovering from a stroke once their outpatient treatment had come to an end.
How many members do you have at the moment?
Within the class, there can be up to 16 members at any one time , but spouses, partners and family members often join in for the social part of the group.
Where and when do you meet?
We meet at the Reigate and Redhill YMCA, which is in Princes Road, Redhill, every Thursday from 3pm for the specially designed one-hour exercise class. Following that, we break for a much-needed cup of tea.
Whats the best thing about being a member of the club?
The class helps us to get to grips with our lives following a stroke. Not only do we get the opportunity and help to improve our mobility, strength and co-ordination, but we can get out of the house and meet people at the same time. As a result, we have become a very close group.
Do you find being surrounded by like-minded individuals inspiring?
Yes, very. We all understand how it feels to be where we are and we are totally supportive of one another. When the group evolves over time as people get better and leave, we get pleasure from their improvement and feel encouraged to continue our own journeys. We adapt to new members coming in, too, as we all remember how it felt at the start. Some of us really had to pluck up the courage to come to the class in the first place and so we all try to be as welcoming as possible to any new members who join.
Have you got links with other clubs?
The Stroke Rehabilitation class is a part of the wider exercise referral programme run by the Reigate & Redhill YMCA. I was recommended to join by Dyscover and there are many other local organisations such as Different Strokes, Smallfield Stroke Club, Heads Up, hospitals and neuro physios who are aware of the class and will point prospective new members our way.
Whats the most interesting story from the groups history?
I can only really speak for myself on this point, but I found that my progress began even before I walked through the door of the YMCA. Having a stroke isnt just a physical setback. It knocks your confidence in so many different ways. I found it hard to do anything on my own, but my wife encouraged me to join the Stroke Rehab class and made me get on a bus on my own to come along to my first session. When the instructors heard how I had got there, they gave me a round of applause!
and the funniest?
We have arranged a couple of great Christmas nights out at local pubs. One particularly memorable one was at the Jolly Farmer in South Godstone but Ill keep the details to myself!
When is your next event that is open to the public/potential new members?
Anyone with a chronic health issue can join the exercise referral programme with a referral form from their GP (available from any surgery), social worker or physiotherapist. Alternatively, new members can refer themselves to the project for assessment by qualified YMCA staff who will contact their doctor for them.
Describe your club in five words...
Welcoming, friendly, supportive, encouraging and knowledgeable.
- For more information about joining the Stroke Rehab class, the exercise referral programme or the YMCAs modern fitness gym, call 01737 779979 orcheck out their website at ymcaredhill.com