An innovative new therapy centre designed to encourage exercise participation in older adults and to support the rehabilitation needs of those living with long term health conditions has opened in Andover.

Operated by Valley Leisure, the new ‘I Can Therapy Centre’ boasts ten specially adapted power assisted exercise machines from UK Manufacturer, Shapemaster, as well as a full time onsite physiotherapist to screen, assess and deliver exercise programmes for users with varying conditions and abilities.

Liz Murray, Community Health Development Manager, Valley Leisure commented, “We are extremely excited to be opening the new and innovative I Can Therapy Centre in Andover. 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, powered by Shapemaster, 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.”

The centre was officially opened by stroke survivor and child protection campaigner, Sara Payne MBE on Thursday 23rd November in attendance of healthcare professionals, local council representatives and specialist interest groups. Sara commented, “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”.

The specialist equipment adopted by the centre enables users to exercise passively or actively, depending on their abilities. Powered by Shapemaster, the equipment has also been customised for optimum accessibility. Howard Blackburn, Managing Director at Shapemaster commented, “The team at Valley Leisure were very clear that that the equipment needed to be accessible to all user groups as well as promoting the social interaction that so many Shapemaster centres boast. With this in mind, our engineers have made some design advances to our standard product range which include; removable arms and footplates for easy access in addition to free standing console units for enhanced usability”.

The centre which already has referral pathways mapped out from local healthcare providers will be officially assessing & introducing its first group of users on Thursday 30th November. Liz Murray added, “We are absolutely staggered by the interest we have received from local healthcare providers and their patients. 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”.

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