Shiel landscape

After an incredible 7 months, it’s time to say goodbye to the Let’s Get Moving programme at Pelham Road Surgery and Meads Medical Practice in Kent. I have met some wonderful and amazing people who have made the service worthwhile, and it makes me so proud to have been a part of this.

The aim of the Let’s Get Moving programme is to support and help individuals to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle. My role as a Community Exercise Professional was to motivate people to get active through providing tailored advice, support and motivation. I talked through with the participant what they might like to do, and together we came up with a plan and a set of achievable goals that were suitable and enjoyable for them. Participants found it very useful to find out more information about walking groups, exercise classes, and other activities happening in the local area.

At the 12-week stage, patients were more active than before they started the programme, and they noticeably had a lot more energy and confidence. The success stories are evidence of this. Not everyone achieved what they wanted to in the 12 weeks, but I believe there is always time to make a change.

Pelham Road Surgery had some very successful and emotional stories. When ukactive informed me that some of the individuals were coming forward to complete case studies on how the programme had helped them, it brought a tear to my eye. This showed me that with a little support and advice, we can all make positive changes.

There were so many inspiring stories that it’s hard to pick just one! However, one patient that really stood out to me was a man who used to use a walking stick to get around. When he attended his 12-week appointment, he had completed the whole Let’s Get Moving booklet and had lost nearly 4 pounds. He now regularly attends an exercise class and walks every day for an hour – which he tries to do without his stick. He stated that his ‘confidence has improved’ and that physical activity has really helped him to ‘increase in strength and mobility’.

Also, watch out for March’s Mover of the Month in the Let’s Get Moving Newsletter, which will feature a couple from the Meads Medical Practice who together increased their activity levels through encouragement from the programme.

The individuals who reached their 12-week goals made me very proud, and I was happy to be a part of their journey. I believe they will continue to be active and maintain their healthy lifestyle. I cannot wait to hear from the team about how participants will be getting on in 6 and 12 months’ time.

Let’s Get Moving has helped individuals in the Kent area – many of which I have seen around the local leisure centres and exercise classes. It’s a great initiative and I’m sure it will continue to be. I would like to thank ukactive, all the Kent participants, and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and doctors at the surgeries: especially the Practice Managers Wendy and Tracey at Pelham Road Surgery and Carol at the Meads Medical Practice for their assistance in running Let’s Get Moving.

It’s important at this stage for all participants to keep positive and keep moving. Remember: there are loads of good facilities out there like the GRAND in Gravesend and Swallows Leisure Centre at Sittingbourne. I would like to wish all the individuals I’ve met the best for the future, and I sincerely hope that I helped you to achieve your goals.