Meet The Activity Champions

Our Activity Champions can help you get more active in your life. All have benefitted from getting more active themselves, giving them a real understanding of what it takes to do this.

They have all found types of exercise that they can fit into their lives and that they enjoy. As a result their fitness levels have improved, they feel better and find it easier to perform general daily tasks.

Find out more about them and how to request their support.

Our Activity Champions:

Jean O'Hare

I attribute exercise to many benefits in my life. I feel healthier, fitter, stronger, both physically and mentally and, when I pass a mirror, I think I’m not bad looking for an old bird! Boxing is my favourite sport – it’s so cathartic taking out life’s frustrations on the punch bag whilst getting a good all round workout.

If you want to be more active, I would recommend finding an activity you enjoy – it’s no use slogging your guts out at the gym for example, if you’re not comfortable or enjoying it. You could try going for daily walks, slowly increasing your distance daily or weekly but keeping it at a manageable pace. Even doing some housework if you can, or pottering around in the garden counts as physical activity. I’ve been growing my own vegetables for the last two years and it’s amazing how physically active the daily watering and tending can be. It’s also rewarding – when those veggies sprout, what an amazing feeling it is!

The key to incorporating more physical activity into your daily life is to find some form of activity that will stimulate you both physically and mentally, then you will keep wanting to come back for more!

Activity Champion Jean doing her boxing exercise at home


I have been exercising for many years now and found the benefits of regular exercise keeps me supple and mostly free of pain.

I used to go to a gym and do circuits. I would walk there then do a good hours workout using weights, weighted jackets and generally moving around on the floor to get my heart rate up. This enabled me to become stronger and healthier. I also lost weight through exercise and eating healthily for most of the day.

Sadly, the gym closed, so I now do a twice weekly workout with a personal trainer, on zoom, with another beneficiary. The benefits of doing exercise in your own home is that you don’t have to get ready to go out in all weathers. I have bought some kettle bells, a weighted jacket and some mats so I have all the equipment at home to do the same exercises I did in the gym.

Now, because I feel so much fitter and stronger, I also find myself doing a lot more of the housework, hanging out washing and hoovering, which, for me, is a good workout.

But you don’t have to start off doing lots of exercise. Even doing shoulder and neck exercises and gentle side bends will be beneficial. You do not need to be doing a massive workout to feel the benefits.

I hope this might encourage you to incorporate some more movement into every day. As I say, any exercise is better than no exercise. Good luck!!!

kettle bell weights, exercise mats and blocks used by Trust Activity Champion Sue to keep fit at home

Mandy de la Mare

I’ve been ‘lock-down exercising’ now for around two years, this is me on my exercise bike! The specific benefits that I have noticed since I started are that my legs have toned up and my core muscles are much improved.

What I would like to say to you if you are considering becoming more active is that it is worthwhile. It really helps you to tone up and makes you feel like you actually want to move. Before I started exercising I didn’t really move a lot, I admit I used my disability as an excuse. As a result, I began to realise I could no longer do some of the things that I used to do.

My personal trainer and I meet up weekly on zoom to work through all my exercise routines. This means I don’t have to get somebody to take me anywhere, I can do it all in the comfort and privacy of my own home. She designs the exercises to work on my core muscles, my legs, shoulders and neck which I find beneficial. She also makes me do some cardio as well, getting the old ticker racing a bit which is especially important.

Having exercises that have been designed for my body has really made me embrace it. Exercising really makes me feel good as it gets the endorphins running around my body and it makes me feel that I am helping myself to stay in shape. I am also dieting to shift that excess weight, exercising is helping with that too.

Activity Champion Mandy working out on her exercise bike at home

Linda Wieckowska

Hello Everyone!

My name is Linda Wieckowska, I am half Polish and half Italian, born and bred in the uk.

I am one of the Activity Champions and am ready to buddy with you to help you get more active in your daily life.

I like to start my day with my traditional strong coffee (to get me going).

1  Feed and let the cats out.
2  Start daily routine housework.
3  When I am in a sporty mood, I get out my electric pedal machine and watch some tv or read for half an hour.
4  Sometimes I even go to extremes and join in the strictly come dancing work outs with the gorgeous Giovanni Pernice, Mama Mia!!

I do love gardening and spend a lot of time outside.

Sports…Well! I get my gear out and racket and watch 2 weeks of tennis bliss from Wimbledon. Everyone knows that I Do Not want to be disturbed while I sweat and indulge in my strawberries and cream!!

In terms of being active, walking is the key for me.. I walk to the shops, and whenever I can. I’ve got wear and tear in both legs so I take it slowly, one step at a time.

I love to cook for my friends and family, so having them visit me motivates me to keep the house tidy and clean. (Good Excuse!)

So, there we are my buddies, keep the circulation pumping, keep moving, say goodbye to deep venous thromboses and hello to being more active! And, occasionally, indulge yourself with a glass of wine or whatever tickles your fancy but don’t forget to keep up the good work!

Interested in getting more active? Here's how you can get started

Get in touch with the Health & Wellbeing team on 01480 474074 or email us. Tell us what you want to achieve and we will match you with an Activity Champion.