Fit for the future 2017

The 2nd Fit for the Future event took place on 5/6 October 2017 in Liverpool and was attended by 18 beneficiaries together with their families and carers.

The event was smaller than the first FFF and this created a supportive environment in which everyone was able to engage fully and take part in activities they might not otherwise have felt comfortable trying. In response to feedback from the first event, there were fewer presentations and more hands on workshops. These were well received.

Two general personal assistants were provided for the weekend and their presence and hard work really helped to contribute towards the success of the event and ensured that every participant was to take part in all sessions. Having practical support to position, get on and off the floor and being assisted / directed in the use items of equipment was essential to the wellbeing and participation of everyone, particularly in the Pilates and the exercise sessions

The Facebook group set up following the first event now has 46 members, which includes thalidomiders, the professionals who delivered sessions and one of the general personal carers (who is also an experienced masseur and personal trainer). The group has a monthly weigh-in and shares information on diet, well-being and exercise.

There is a small but keen cohort of beneficiaries who have embraced some long-term life-style changes – some of their stories are shared here. There is no doubt that their involvement in the second event was invaluable - sharing their experiences and the positive changes they’ve enjoyed as a result and this definitely added to the success of the weekend. They were able to share ideas for exercises and lifestyle changes as well as their weight loss success. During the final session of the event, many participants gave positive feedback about their plans to make changes to their lifestyle.

List of speakers/professionals involved in the event
Carolyn Desforges – Speech and Language Therapist and Thalidomider Carolyn has many years of experience supporting people to make the changes they hope for. She uses a brief solution focus approach to her practice.
Carole Atkins – Physiotherapist Carole is Director of Berkshire Physiotherapy Centre for over 25 years specialising in Neurology for 22. Based in Reading.
Emma Medus – Level 3 Personal Trainer, BSc Hons Sports Therapy, Body Type Nutrition Certified Coach, Emma’s Mum and step-father are both Thalidomiders. Emma has been a Personal Trainer for 6 years and is based in Manchester. After completing a degree in Sports Therapy, Emma progressed through the gym to become a Personal Trainer, focusing on rehabilitation and making fitness accessible for all. Emma believes that everyone can and should be able to improve their general health and fitness, it just sometimes takes a bit of thinking outside the box to make exercises adaptable. Over the past few years Emma has helped many individuals with conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Paraplegia, Amputations, Mental Health Disorders and Thalidomide to develop their fitness to improve their health & life. Many of you may also know Emma as Louise Medus-Mansell’s daughter.
Dave Spencer David has practised in mindfulness and meditation techniques for fourteen years. David teaches and facilitates Mindfulness in one-to-one and group settings, independently and for many different organisations. David also a trained and accredited yoga teacher, teaching many styles of yoga along with traditional meditation.
Dr Papathomas Anthony Papathomas is Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology within Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. His research interests concern the physical activity and health experiences of marginalised groups and clinical populations. He has published numerous studies that address issues such as disability, chronic illness and mental health. Anthony is an editorial board member for the journals Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise and Psychology of Sport and Exercise. He is also Mental Health Lead for the Psychology Division of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
Dr Christof Leicht Christof is a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University. As leader of the health and wellbeing strand of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport his research revolves around exercise and how it can improve health and reduce risk factors for Cardiovascular Disease (e.g. stroke, heart attacks) or Type II Diabetes – a large part of his research has been conducted in people with spinal cord injury. More recently, Christof is investigating the role of increased body temperature on health, and first results show that taking regular hot baths can lead to some of the health benefits found when exercising., especially in people with reduced capability to perform exercise this approach holds much promise and is currently Christof’s main research focus.
Jane Hall – Certified Pilates teacher in 2000 Jane has a background as a professional dancer, from an injury had reconstruction to the ankle…was wheelchair bound…learnt to walk again! Jane was based in Miami at the time and Pilates was part of her rehabilitation. Since 2000 Jane has been teaching referral, and non-referral clients, including sports professionals from football, cricket, rugby and cycling. Jane says that “Pilates is an ongoing education for us…. we learn so much from every client and in turn they gain support and freedom with their body.”
Victoria Considine – Certified Pilates teacher Victoria has been instructing one of our beneficiaries in Manchester for over a year.
Christine Kenny Christine is a Registered Dietitian, Body positive personal trainer and fitness coach. Christine has a range of experience in clinical nutrition, health promotion and weight management and has worked for the NHS and in private practice. Christine does not do diets, she teaches about health, nutrition and wellbeing and encourage people to take control of their eating habits and learn how to lose weight and maintain this easily and for it to become part of their lifestyle. Christine takes away the emphasis of weight and any negative connotations about food and eating behaviour. She enables people to have a healthy relationship with food and learn to eat in a controlled way. Her focus is on health, nourishment and learning what is enough for the individual. Christine holds private clinics in Altrincham, and has several exercise classes, personal training clients. She does regular wellbeing talks and myth busting sessions for The Christie in Manchester, and runs health and wellbeing at work – workshops and regularly advise schools, care homes etc… on nutrition and menu planning.
 

Take a look at the highlights video from the event:

Fit for the future 2016

Here's some information on our first Fit for the Future event which was held on 15 and 16 April in Loughborough.

The event was very well received and enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Please download our Fit for the Future summary

Some useful ‘Information Sheets’ have been put together following the event.  These contain a lot of useful information to enable you to purchase equipment, obtain services and otherwise consider some lifestyle changes.

These include:

(1)   Physio massage equip
(2)   Other treatments for pain
(3)   Diet and nutrition
(4)   Exercise and equipment
(5)   Emotional Wellbeing
(6)   Professionals List (Word) Apr 16

We are intending to hold further Fit for the Future Events. If you would be interested in attending, please e-mail hello@thalidomidetrust.org.

For further information, please click here to contact Simone Illger