"I am so glad I joined the Active Wellbeing Service"

After being told by her nurse she was pre- diabetic, Diane knew she needed to make some positive changes to her lifestyle to improve her health.

Shortly after her health scare, Diane saw an article for the Active Wellbeing Service being delivered from the Unity Centre on Meredith Road in Ipswich.

Following an initial phone call, Diane was booked to see Chris, her local Physical Activity Adviser and she has not looked back...

Diane accessed the Unity Centre after discovering she was pre-diabetic

"I live with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, but after being diagnosed as pre- diabetic at a recent appointment, I knew something needed to change! Before contacting Active Suffolk I was not active at all, so after reading about the Active Wellbeing Service in my local magazine I felt this was the perfect first step! With the support of Chris, I have started going to First Stroke Swimming pool.

I do exercises in the water rather than swimming but I am really benefitting from that. It is lovely, the staff are friendly and there are not too many people in the pool which is nice as I am fearful in the water - in fact, it was the first time I had been in a public pool since the 90's! Through being more active, I have found that I have more energy and each week that I go I feel I am managing to do more.

I am now trying to build myself up to doing more and I have been signposted to other local groups which can help me to achieve this. In addition to the benefit of being more active, I have also connected and met others which has been wonderful."

Diane continued swimming with First Strokes and also agreed to a referral to SPOT Wellbeing who were delivering a six week programme in Ipswich.

SPOT Wellbeing are a team of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists working with adults over 50 in Suffolk to empower them to improve and maintain their mental and physical wellbeing. The team promote healthy living and support people to prevent ill health. They offer a holistic service, supporting clients with exercise, mindfulness, falls prevention and even nutrition.

After 3 months, Diane returned to the unity Centre to see her Physical Activity Advisor, Chris where she spoke about her progress and the benefits she has experienced since accessing the Active Wellbeing Service.

"I am still going to First Stroke's swimming pool every week. As well as keeping up with the exercise, meeting others there has been great as we get to have a chat and I have made some friends.

When I first went swimming, I was so nervous which made my whole body ache because I was so tense! Now I am swimming each week and attending weekly exercise sessions with SPOT Wellbeing, I am less tense, more relaxed and I can feel my muscles benefitting.

The mindfulness sessions with SPOT Wellbeing have also been beneficial and I try to practice these breathing exercises at home.

I feel brilliant, the changes have really helped me manage the fibromyalgia and ME and I have even I have started to think I can begin coming off my medication for depression. I definitely think the increase in exercise, combined with meeting new people and swimming, have all been good for my mind as well as my body!"