A unique gym designed to help people living with neurological conditions is transforming lives in the London boroughs of Richmond, Hounslow, Kingston and Wandsworth.
Gym-goers spoke to our ambassador Fiona Phillips on how the facilities provided by Integrated Neurological Services (INS) have given them a new lease of life.
People living with Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or even the after effects of a stroke can enjoy regular exercise using specialist gym equipment not available in public gyms.
Our players have provided an amazing £15,000 to help support this superb project.
Rob Clark, Director of Care at INS, said, "These conditions bring major life-changing situations for most people. Integrated Neurological Services steps in when NHS support stops, which is 6-8 weeks after diagnosis, and delivers clinical, as well as social support and activities. 'Thank you for giving me my life back' is a frequent comment we hear from those supported.
"A lot of people hit rock bottom after a diagnosis and can become depressed, but we're here to show them it's not the end of the world and they can live well with their condition."
Fiona added, "It's great to see that INS is giving people this empowering experience because these can be really catastrophic conditions to deal with. This charity is helping people live better every day and funding raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery is helping enable them to be able to do that."
Juliet, who uses the gym, feels much stronger after her sessions at the facility. She said, "It gives me a focus to come here and I also enjoy meeting other like-minded people. The physiotherapy is a great help too. I actually feel quite euphoric when I leave, which I think is probably the endorphins."
Margaret, who's grateful that her doctor sent her to the gym, also added, "It took me three years to get a diagnosis and my legs were a little bit weak. It was quite traumatic not to understand why I couldn't walk or run like I used to. After getting therapy here it switched my mindset for the better."
Another service-user Rob added, "If it wasn't for INS I probably wouldn't go anywhere. The motivation factor is high here. I used to be a member of a gym and that's very isolating and solitary and when you go there of course 90% of people are perfectly fit and there was me struggling to get on the machine."
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