From left to right: I Can Therapy Centre’s Kevin, Deputy Mayor of Sheffield Tony Downing and Sara Payne MBE cutting the ribbon at the official opening of the I Can Therapy Centre
Jared O’Mara MP image
Jared O’Mara MP speaking at the opening of the I Can Therapy Centre

An innovative new therapy centre designed to support the rehabilitation needs of those living with long-term health conditions has officially opened in Sheffield.

Operated by independent charity Valley Leisure, the centre boasts eight accessible power assisted exercise machines from UK manufacturer Shapemaster and a Medicotech thera-trainer.

Sheffield Neuro Physiotherapy is also supporting client screening, assessment and exercise programmes for users with varying conditions and abilities.

The centre, which already has referral pathways mapped out from local healthcare providers, has welcomed its first group of users. It was officially opened by the deputy mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Tony Downing.

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Liz Murray, Community Health Development Manager at Valley Leisure, commented: “We are extremely proud to be opening the new and innovative I Can Therapy Centre in Sheffield.

“Valley Leisure’s sole aim is to enable people to move more and feel better and through the operation of our new Power Assisted Exercise facility we are certain that we can make a real difference to help many people live as well as they can for as long as they can.”

Users of the facility also have the option of accessing affordable and individualised physiotherapy sessions. Physiotherapy treatments include soft tissue mobilisation, balance rehabilitation and mobility interventions to optimise physical wellbeing and performance.

Emma Richards, Managing Director of Sheffield Neuro Physiotherapy, added: “Sheffield has been in desperate need of a centre like this for many years. Being able to offer power assisted exercise alongside physiotherapy interventions will not only benefit those with neurological conditions but will also support the needs of many older adults and those with long term conditions, ultimately encouraging and enabling independent living.”

Also in attendance was Jared O’Mara MP who spoke passionately about the value of physiotherapy treatment. Stroke Survivor and Child Protection Campaigner Sara Payne MBE also attended the event and gave a moving speech on her stroke journey and stressed the need for more centres like I Can Therapy.

Sara said: “The facilities offered at the I Can Therapy Centre are absolutely superb and the whole ethos of the team is incredibly inspiring. I wish centres like these were available in every town and city across the country, not just for the physical rehabilitation which in itself is vitally important, but for the social engagement that Liz and her team are clearly focussed on delivering.”

Dr Ali Ali, Consultant Geriatrician and Stroke Physician at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust and Senior Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, delivered a powerful presentation on the benefits of exercise for those who have experienced a stroke.

The specialist equipment adopted by the centre enables users to exercise passively or actively, depending on their abilities.

Liz concluded: “We are absolutely staggered by the interest we have received from local healthcare providers, who not only see the clinical value in our offering, but the social benefits for a wide range of user groups including older and vulnerable adults.

“The launch event itself attracted many people with varying long term health conditions such as Fibromyalgia, MS and those living with the physical effects of a stroke, some of whom have already signed up and are very enthusiastic to move more and feel better.”

Valley Leisure was established as a charity in 1990 with aims to advance health and wellbeing for the public benefit. The charity seeks to engage with people of all ages and physical abilities to promote active lifestyles.

Sheffield Neuro Physiotherapy was founded by Director Emma Richards in 2008. The service delivers specialist neurological physiotherapy for people with movement and postural changes arising from neurological impairment.

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