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Activity course puts Lee on road to recovery

Communities / Thu 12th Nov 2015 at 12:56pm

ActiveEVERYONE Active along with Level 3 qualified Exercise and Disability Trainer Lee Cartwright have been presented with an InstructAbility award for their work, setting up a Stroke Survivors fitness group.

The InstructAbility awards is a programme created in 2010 by Aspire, the spinal injury charity and YMCAfit training provider. The award recognises successful partnerships between disabled fitness professionals and their employers.

They engage with disabled people within fitness activities, led by qualified instructors who are experts due to their own experiences. The programme has supported over 200 disabled people to qualify as fitness professionals and their instructors have contributed 20,000 hours of voluntary service to the leisure industry to encourage more disabled people to feel welcome and supported in the gym environment.

Three and a half years ago Lee Cartwright had a major stroke which left him with left side paralysis. Whilst training to try and regain movement he was disappointed with the lack of support for stroke rehab. This led him to qualify as a gym and disability instructor through the InstructAbility programme and set up his own Stroke Survivors fitness group with Louise Bonfield, a friend who had also had a stroke and suffers from epilepsy.

The group meets every Friday in a fitness studio at Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool from 12:00-14:00 and offers accessible fitness sessions, as well as support and a friendly social atmosphere. On Monday and Wednesday, a functional training class also offers exercise sessions for all those with disabilities.

“We are delighted and very proud to have been given the InstructAbility award alongside Lee,” says Everyone Active Centre Manager Chris McCarthy. “He is a fantastic instructor and role model for many people with disabilities, and we hope that the classes will give people with similar conditions the support they need to help them recover.”

Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Helen Kane said:

‘’I am absolutely delighted to hear that Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool and Lee Cartwright have been presented with this award. Their commendable work means that stroke survivors in the District are supported by an instructor that understands their condition first hand, encouraging successful rehabilitation. I would like to extend my congratulations to both and thank them for making fitness accessible within the Epping Forest District.’’

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