Gloucestershire disabled people set for new therapy suite

Disabled people throughout Gloucestershire will have more chances to get active after charity Leonard Cheshire launched a new therapy suite on Friday in Cheltenham.

I’ve built up confidence here. I try to keep active all the time. I love using all the stuff we have to exercise. I can’t wait to see the therapy room.

Helen Forrest, Gloucester House resident

Based in its Gloucestershire House care home, which supports 36 disabled adults, the new therapy suite is open to all disabled people in the region.

Residents at the home also have a new activity room and a revamped sensory room, a relaxing space for those with complex needs and everyone who lives there. All new facilities opened on Friday were funded by gifts in wills left to the charity.

Helen Forrest, 27, uses an electric wheelchair and has lived at Gloucestershire House for eight years.

She said:

‘I’ve built up confidence here. I try to keep active all the time. I love using all the stuff we have to exercise. I can’t wait to see the therapy room.’

Dave Evans, 57, uses an electric wheelchair and began living at Gloucestershire House this year.

He said:

‘Keeping active here helps me feel better. I love the chance to get my legs working.

‘A new therapy room will take things to a new level. The workouts I will get will help me with my goal to lose weight too.’

At the launch event, Gloucestershire House staff demonstrated the latest equipment in the new therapy room, including an H-frame hoist, cardiovascular trainer and thera-bikes, which are specialist static bikes for physical conditioning.

Lesley Gamm, service manager at Gloucestershire House, said:

‘Our grand opening day was a brilliant day for everyone.

‘Along with the fantastic new activity room, our state therapy room will be a huge benefit to local disabled people.

‘And everyone had a chance to see brilliant Leonard Cheshire projects that will help disabled people throughout Gloucestershire.’

Other highlights during the launch event for the new therapy suite included an eco-friendly fashion show designed and modelled by residents, as well as an art sale featuring their own work.

Leonard Cheshire also used the event to open its community projects to visitors, such as its new ‘Opening Doors’ scheme, which matches volunteers with local disabled people.

Visitors also discovered the benefits of IT through the charity’s Go Digital scheme. Finally, visitors could try out outdoor inclusive cycling with Gloucestershire Wheels for All, which uses adaptive bikes to get everyone pedalling.

Media enquiries

For additional information and larger photos from the day, contact Nick Bishop on 07889 976267 or Leonard Cheshire press office on 020 3242 0399.

Notes to editors

Among the staff was physiotherapist Piers Baker, who recently featured with residents in a national physiotherapy campaign film about the benefits of exercise.

Gloucestershire House is a residential service with nursing care run by Leonard Cheshire. This service in Cheltenham supports up to 36 disabled adults and includes 6 separate bungalows as ‘supported living’ accommodation. It has a hydrotherapy pool, a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist, and offers a wide range of activities to residents.