New Multiple Sclerosis exercise class proving a hit 

Published on: January 6th 2023

A NEW weekly exercise class, running in Berwick, Northumberland and geared specifically to help people with Multiple Sclerosis, is growing in popularity, with participants starting to reap the physical and mental wellbeing benefits. 

The class, which runs from the new Berwick Sports & Leisure Centre, started in September and is thought to be the first of its kind in the county. 

In partnership with the community physio team, Active Northumberland offers exercise classes with seated and standing exercises focusing on balance and coordination and with some relaxation therapy too. 

Active Northumberland has been working with The MS Society Alnwick and District Group, which is funding the class. 

Diane Wilson from the Alnwick and District Multiple Sclerosis group said: “Exercise has been shown to help people with Multiple Sclerosis, so we are delighted that this support is being provided for the Berwick area. The class is run by people who understand the condition, and most importantly, they are tailored to those taking part.” 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. 

It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild. 

Lee Robson from Active Northumberland, who leads the class, said: “The class is aimed at anyone with Multiple Sclerosis, and although we are a new group, we already have ten members. To begin with, the group started with simple balance and strength sessions, and we’ll progress from there with everyone working at their own pace. 

“Having fun has been fundamental to the group, and our exercise sessions always end with a cuppa and cake in the cafe so those taking part can talk to others who have the same condition.” 

Isobell Budge has been attending the classes since September; she said: “It’s a really enjoyable group where I can work at my own pace. Most importantly, the class is sociable, welcoming and fun and provides a great opportunity for me to meet and chat with others who share the same condition.” 

Margaret Eatough has also been attending the classes – she said: “It’s an excellent group. Knowing what types of exercise to do can be very daunting if you have a medical condition. Our instructor is professionally qualified and is there to help, advise and support us.”  

A similar class also runs at Berwick Sports Centre to support people with Parkinson’s, which has proved to be incredibly successful. 

The exercise class for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers is an extension of this work to support and assist residents in the Berwick area who have the condition. 

The class runs on Mondays 1.15pm – 2.00 pm in the New Berwick Sports and Leisure centre. 

If you live locally and are interested in finding out more call 01670 536400 and ask for a Short-Term Support Service Physio referral.