"Physical activity improved my physical and mental health."

Derek, aged 63 was referred to the Active Wellbeing Service by Dr Rufford at the Holbrook and Shotley Surgery in January 2022.

The referral was made whilst Derek was struggling with a number of health conditions, including a decline in his mental wellbeing caused by the loss of his mother and the pandemic.

The aim of the referral was to support Derek to gain some core stability and improve his overall fitness, allowing him to get back to some sport and physical activity.

Derek saw Janet from the Active Wellbeing Service and this is what he had to say...

I have several health conditions including atrial fibrillation, muscular skeletal problems affecting my elbow, back and knees, plus irritable bowel syndrome. However, it was the decline in my mental wellbeing after the loss of my mother that really resulted in me needing some support.

Although I had been active in the past, I had lost the motivation to do anything, however Janet supported me to swim, access the gym and eventually get back to badminton and bowls too.

The support from Janet was huge. It was great to be able to open up and talk to someone outside of the family who could support me to get back to things I enjoyed again. Once I was more active, I started to feel better and my IBS even settled down as this had been triggered by stress.

As men, we often try to cope without talking, but we need to open up and reach out. There are people that can help and for me, physical activity support really helped me to get back on track.