Supporting people with Parkinson’s

Healthy lifestyle instructors in North East Derbyshire have received bespoke training from Parkinson’s UK to help them better support people living with Parkinson’s.

Instructors from leisure centres across the district - including Sharley Park Leisure Centre, Dronfield Sports Centre, Killamarsh Active, and Eckington Fitness Centre - took part in training that focused on how classes and activities can be adapted for people living with Parkinson’s.

Co-delivered with local NHS Neurological Specialist Physiotherapist, Laura Wright, the training covered the benefits of exercise for people living with Parkinson’s, how exercise can be adapted, challenges people may encounter, and strategies that can help.

Laura, from the Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Neurological Rehab team from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our aim is for people to live well with Parkinson’s and to have the confidence to continue to exercise once their NHS treatment sessions have come to an end.

“For people living with Parkinson’s in North East Derbyshire, we now know instructors in these leisure centres are equipped with knowledge, strategies, and exercise adaptations that may be required to encourage people to continue to exercise safely.”

In addition to the face-to-face training, the team has also completed Parkinson’s UK’s free online physical activity and exercise instructor training.

Councillor Alan Powell, from North East Derbyshire District Council, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “We want to ensure people living with Parkinson’s attending our leisure centres can get the benefits of physical exercise in ways that work best for them.

“The training our staff received has helped enhance our awareness of Parkinson’s and improve the level of instructing we can offer to people with Parkinson’s in North East Derbyshire and the surrounding areas.

“We are an authority that is passionate about making sure our facilities and services are accessible to everyone and we can adapt to best meet the needs of our customers.”

Around 145,000 people in the UK are currently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, including more than 11,500 in the East Midlands.

Parkinson's UK is the UK's leading charity supporting people with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through pioneering research, information, support and campaigning.

The charity offers a variety of free and paid-for training opportunities for professionals wanting to learn more about Parkinson’s and how best to support people living with the condition. You can find out more on the website.