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Primary school teacher Sarah Lonie joined our online activity sessions to help recover her confidence and her fitness levels.

Sarah, aged 38 from Alfreton, was referred into Live Life Better Derbyshire’s physical activity sessions by her occupational therapist after suffering a stroke in December 2019.

She said:

“It was a massive shock as I was generally really healthy and very young for this to happen. Prior to this I was part of an exercise group and I was exercising regularly.

“As soon as I was discharged from hospital, I had lost all my confidence. I was weak and I had limited movement of my right arm.

“I was scared to leave the house and I was struggling with post-stroke fatigue. I had no interest in exercising and was generally pretty low and anxious.”

Since taking part in the online sessions Sarah says she has noticed a big improvement in her fitness levels and her emotional wellbeing too.

She feels more toned and can exercise for longer before getting tired.

She said:

“My advisor Andrea was so friendly and welcoming from the beginning that I felt immediately at ease and keen to participate. I was surprised how much my mood improves with exercise.

“After a hard and stressful day at work, I do my class and it immediately lifts my mood and makes me feel good.

“I was doing very little exercise the year leading up to beginning the activity sessions. Now I am constantly outdoors playing football or tennis with my eight-year-old, and I am not tiring out so quickly.

“I feel much more body confident and I’ve started making an effort to get dressed up and go out with friends more.”

Sarah had to surrender her driving licence after her stroke. But having the option of the online classes let her take part without the struggle of getting to a venue.

Sarah has found the Live Life Better Derbyshire family to be supportive through her entire journey.

She said:

"Everyone is so friendly and approachable. It is also nice to have the support of the other people in the online sessions who are like one big family. We spur each other on before and during the sessions."

She’s keen that other people take part in the sessions and that they put any worries to one side.

She says:

“I think it is only natural to be nervous. I was a bit apprehensive before my first session, as I didn’t fully know what to expect or how intense the workout would be.

“I needn’t have worried because Andrea was so welcoming from the start.

“I immediately felt at ease and it was emphasised throughout the session that I could work at my own pace and adapt the workout to meet my needs. I would highly recommend the service I received.

“I would just like to say how grateful I am to everyone involved, and how much I appreciate this wonderful free service. You have all contributed to my stroke recovery journey.”