Carlisle Better Breathing Walking Group promotes respiratory health

The group, which is part of the East Community Respiratory Team, was formed by Sarah McCall, Michelle Grant, and Travel Actively Cumbria’s Chris Tolley and hosted its first walk on Friday, April 26. 

This first walk was made up of eight registered patients from the East Community Respiratory Team’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation classes but has since grown to a cohort of 18 who enjoyed a walk around Carlisle Cemetery on Friday, May 17. 

After the group’s most recent walk, Sarah was on hand to explain more about the walks and how they promote physical and social well-being.

She said: “We have found the group tends to split into two – higher and lower level. Higher-level patients will walk further, not stopping as regularly and lower-level patients walk a shorter distance with regular rests, all supported by the walk leaders.

“The allocated walk time so far has been between 30-45 minutes, this has gradually increased over the weeks.

“The walk is then followed by a social cuppa for those that wish to stay, so far all have stayed for this and enjoy this aspect as much as the walk – it’s definitely a good incentive for some.

“This is also helping to support local businesses as we have visited Cafés such as The Gatehouse Café, Morton Manor, and the Cathedral café.”

Sarah also discussed how the eventual aim is to see the group become self-sufficient, with Travel Actively Cumbria set to provide patients with the required training.

She said: “The plan is that eventually the group will be led by the patients themselves. 

“Travel Actively Carlisle will support the walks for approximately eight weeks and provide training for patients who wish to take on the role of Walk leader.

“We have already identified two walk leaders who are booked in for training and hopefully we will recruit a couple more.

“We will support the group in terms of physical attendance until this training has been completed then we will step away and just offer support to the Walk Leaders as needed and obviously continue to refer into the group.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the group is encouraged to contact the East Community Respiratory Team.

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