People with poor lung health say they owe their quality of life to a Fylde coast lung maintenance class.
That’s why they are happy to support a temporary move from Thornton YMCA to Fleetwood while the YMCA is refurbished.
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service, run by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, helps people who suffer lung and breathing problems and have been referred to it by their GP, nurse, consultant or oxygen service.
It offers light fitness classes to help clients control their conditions.
The service is currently meeting at Parkinson Preston and Fleetwood Drop-In Centre on Bold Street, Fleetwood.
Sheila Dryden, clinical specialist physiotherapist with the service, said: “This space is ideal for us as it’s big enough for our group, easy to get to and well located.
“We’ve wanted to set up a class here for a while due to demand from GPs and other parties so this is a perfect opportunity to test the water.”
The classes are optional for people who have already completed a pulmonary rehab course and they can choose to attend once or twice a week.
Two years ago Vicki Hopwood, 56, was totally dependant on a supply of oxygen and was told she always would be.
She started attending classes at Thornton YMCA and lost weight, taking pressure off her heart and lungs.
Now she doesn’t need her oxygen supply and attends the classes regularly to keep herself in shape.
“My life wouldn’t be the same without this group, she said.
“My condition hasn’t gone away, I just deal with it better. I have gradually stopped the other exercise I was doing as I have lost weight but the benefit of these classes was obvious and I know once you stop exercising completely it’s very difficult to get going again, so I wanted to keep coming.
“It keeps me entertained and it’s nice to get the support from the other members of the group. It’s more like a party than an exercise class really.”
Maria Silverton, 82, loves the groups and looks forward to her weekly session with friends.
She said: “I wouldn’t be without this group, I’m so glad it could carry on during the work at the sports centre. It is better in this new venue as it’s slightly smaller so we can socialise more easily with the other people in the class.
“It’s not really about where it’s held though, I’m just glad there is a class like this where I can meet my new friends and keep myself active.”
Emrys Llewellyn, who goes twice a week, added: “I have no doubt that I would have deteriorated and become quite ill if I had not kept coming to this group.”
Classes are held at Great Eccleston Village Centre, Wesham Scout Centre, Lytham YMCA Leisure Centre and in Fleetwood.