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A Case for Change: Future developments in the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity


A Case for Change: Future developments in the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity. The key themes that shall be explored in the document: A description of the present model of service. An explanation of the need for change. A description of the new service model that will be introduced in 2021. How the Board of trustees will continue to support the membership of the charity. Introduction The charity was formed to facilitate the provision of fitness classes in the community, run by British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR) qualified instructors so that people who suffered a cardiac event could continue with long term (Phase IV) of their rehabilitation. The charity currently manages the hire of halls and gyms, the procurement and maintenance of equipment and contributes 50% of the instructor’s wages, the remainder being paid by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board (currently the instructor’s formal employer). Funds to finance these activities comes from membership, class fees, donations, grants and events organised by the fund-raising committee volunteers. However, the annual challenge to match income and expenditure has been made impossible by COVID-19 restrictions. Due to a significant downward trend in income, and in order to save the charity, the trustees took the decision to end the 50% instructor wage contribution to the Health Board. As a result, the instructor’s contract with the Health Board to work with Phase 4 ends this June and a consultation process to see if alternative employment can be found within [...]

A Case for Change: Future developments in the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity2021-05-17T10:04:13+00:00

Exercising without class


Exercising without class The pandemic came suddenly and, for many, tragically with serious illness and fatality never far away. In this context, the postponement of exercise classes seems almost a trivial concern although I have missed the social side and the group meeting and the cheery mood of seeing the same people week after week. As I write, there may, at last, be some (distant) light at the end of the tunnel. More than anything, it has been important to maintain a routine of ‘good habits’ to avoid accumulating bad habits. So, here is my routine: (occasionally distorted by bits of paid work as a project supervisor at a college). Some exercise every morning (either a walk or the home exercise routine I was given at the end of phase III). This means I get out into the fresh air. A few days ago, I took this marvellous picture of a woodpecker which took off from about 10 yards away. Unfortunately, the woodpecker was too quick for me. One of the most irritating features of nature photography is that the animals and birds are undisciplined in posing for pictures. Here is a picture of Monmouth in the snow The weather is not always so benign But the worse the weather outdoors, the greater the pleasure in returning to a warm house. Keeping my mind active studying with Open University (it’s hard at my age!) and with chores. Staying in touch with friends is also [...]

Exercising without class2021-02-01T17:20:57+00:00

BILL Owen a loyal supporter of our charity and the man who brought Tour de France stars to Wales, has stepped down from organising cycling events.


BILL Owen a loyal supporter of our charity and the man who brought Tour de France stars to Wales, has stepped down from organising cycling events. (The main body of this article was written by Gary Baker and first appeared on the South Wales Argus on the 23rd Dec – sadly following a tragic accident Gary passed away on the 11th January)   76-year-old Bill has retired due to ill health, meaning an end for the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling, which ran every year since 2007 until coronavirus forced its cancellation this summer. Bill attended the Nevill Hall Cardiac Rehabilitation programme as long ago as 1991 following a heart attack and came under their care again in 2016 after four stents. He was awarded an MBE for services to cycling, which spanned close to 60 years, and he was also inducted into the British Cycling Hall of Fame in 2016, given a lifetime achievement award by Welsh Cycling in 2013 and won organiser of the year on several occasions for his beloved Abergavenny Festival of Cycling. This event took an incredible amount of organising in which the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation Charity were pleased to take a small but important part. Volunteers supported the course feed stations, ran stalls in Baily Park and also took part in the cycle events - in turn for which Bill made a generous donation. He won the Welsh Road Race Championships in 1963 and was featured on the front cover of national magazine Cycling [...]

BILL Owen a loyal supporter of our charity and the man who brought Tour de France stars to Wales, has stepped down from organising cycling events.2021-01-13T09:46:06+00:00

Christmas message


A Christmas message from our Chair Dear Members, Although we continue to find ourselves in the midst of the Covid crisis, I am pleased to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of our very dedicated tutors.  They have continued to offer exercise programmes by phone for so many of our members, and despite the weather, the walks that were started at the end of August, continue to take place across North Gwent on a weekly basis. We are all very hopeful that the introduction of the Covid vaccination will soon see our lives returning to some sort of normality.  With this in mind, the Trustees have already engaged in discussions on how to reintroduce the exercise class based activities that our members valued so much before the Covid crisis commenced. In preparation for this, the charity has strived to attract continued funding and I am pleased to announce that we have recently benefited from a sizeable donation from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Charities Committee.  The donation was then added to the £4,000 plus that we raised from our Everest Challenge ‘virtual walk’. We also owe a great deal of thanks to Kathy Cleveland who has once again been pivotal in organising this year’s Christmas Raffle which is due to be drawn on Tuesday 15th December 2020.  I’m sure the raffle will help increase our funding further as it has done in the past.  A special thank you to all those who have supported our fundraising efforts and [...]

Christmas message2020-12-16T09:22:36+00:00

Congratulations from our Chair


Congratulations from our Chair Dear Members, I just want to congratulate everyone associated with completing the Everest challenge. Clearly there are a lot of  others, especially our members, who I am unable to include in this e mail but who helped us also and I am hoping you can help me pass on my thanks to them as well. I was hoping to send out a message today via the world walking site but I sent a motivational message a few weeks ago via the website and am told that you didn’t receive it so I won’t try it again. In my view I think you have all shown a huge sense of determination to get us over the line and in my opinion it’s a very proud day for the charity. The challenge has also helped to raise some much needed funds and when we are able to confirm the total I will let you all know. More importantly however the challenge helped us to reinstate exercise classes for our members and gave them a goal to reach for and this in itself made it all worthwhile. Perhaps we can consider undertaking another challenge at some stage in the future but for now I’m sure everyone needs to rest their weary legs. Thanks once again to you all. Gary Hicks Chair of the Board of Trustees

Congratulations from our Chair2020-10-21T15:21:56+00:00

Kenneth Haynes joins the virtual “Walk to Everest”


Kenneth Haynes joins the virtual “Walk to Everest” During the Covid 19 lockdown period which started in March of this year, all of the charity Cardiac Rehabilitation tutors kept in touch with their individual class members, making sure they were well and keeping up their fitness. I regularly phoned Ken for a chat to see how he was coping with these strange circumstances. He would tell me he was keeping active, gardening and being busy around his house. However, he admitted he was really missing the exercises and seeing the other class members.  Before this lockdown period, Ken was attending a weekly gym class at Monmouth Leisure Centre. Very rarely absent, I could always rely on Ken to be there. In August, when I told Ken we were starting walking groups, he was keen to take part, and has been going to Usk every week since they started. We have now also added a walk at Monmouth, so less travelling for Ken and all Monmouth class members. Recently, I asked Ken if he would give a telephone interview, providing an insight of his active, healthy lifestyle from his late teens to the present day. I am pleased to say he agreed, and this is what he told me: Question 1: What was your occupation? Ken told me that he went into the Air Force for National Service at the age of 18 for 2 years. After this he went to Liverpool University to study Architecture, staying on for a [...]

Kenneth Haynes joins the virtual “Walk to Everest”2020-10-21T11:17:06+00:00

COVID 19 has meant a new beginning for early Cardiac Rehabilitation


COVID 19 has meant a new beginning for early Cardiac Rehabilitation Hassan Al-Kaabi Senior Fitness Instructor Oct 2020 I work in Cardiac Rehabilitation in Pontypool, South Wales. Prior to Covid 19 following a cardiac event, patients attended cardiac rehabilitation for eight weeks. This consisted of an exercise and education programme, facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT); including Cardiac Specialist Nurses, Exercise Specialists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Counsellors. The impact of Covid 19 In ABUHB there are four sites providing cardiac rehab programmes. During Covid-19, we have had to adapt our service and unfortunately haven't been able to see patients face to face since late March. We have, however, been conducting our service over the phone; giving patients advice, support and education where possible. There are many limitations to running a service over the phone these include not being able to physically see how our patients are recovering, what exercise capacity they have, not being able to build a rapport with patients, and not providing the best education possible for them. A new way forward I am the Chair of the Education Group in our department. This includes a small working group, with members from the MDT looking for innovative ideas to improve our education for patients. As a service we have been sending patients education leaflets, Heart Manuals (a self-management book for cardiac patients), and also providing education over the phone. As a working group we felt that patients were missing out on face to face group education, that [...]

COVID 19 has meant a new beginning for early Cardiac Rehabilitation2020-10-21T10:07:39+00:00

Newsletter August 2020


Newsletter August 2020 Dear Member What we’ve been up to My last newsletter written at the outset of the Covid 19 lockdown informed the readers of the steps the charity would be taking to maintain contact with its members. Since then the Community Tutors have committed to regularly contacting class members to check on welfare and to promote continued exercise through personalised home exercise programmes. The charity would like to express their gratitude to the Tutors and all those who help support them for their efforts. The trustees of the charity have also tried to keep themselves busy by holding monthly zoom meetings chiefly used to discuss how to continue overseeing the governance of the charity during these very challenging times. Walking Groups Thankfully some of the lockdown restrictions are now being eased and the trustees have begun to discuss how best to reinstate some of the activities previously provided by the charity.  Unfortunately, we are not yet in a position to fully resume services by opening up the classes but we are currently exploring the possibility of beginning dedicated exercise walks overseen by the Tutors. We believe this will help facilitate the important face to face contact with our Tutors and also be a long awaited first step to reintroducing the important work of the charity. It is hoped that the walks will commence on the 10th August, however we are still awaiting confirmation from the Health Board that they agree with our proposals. The [...]

Newsletter August 20202020-10-21T10:54:53+00:00

Patient Story: “Getting Back to Normal…”


David O’Brien reflects on his experience with Cardiac Rehabilitation and getting “back to normal” “Born in 1947 in Pontypridd, school and university in Cardiff and having spent all my working career in England, my personal cardiac story begins with our move to Cornwall in 2005 and my registration with a doctor then. With no obvious symptoms he prescribed statins and aspirin as my cholesterol was higher than was recommended, even though I was reasonably fit and active and considered my diet was sensible. This was followed in 2006 when my company annual BUPA medical concluded it would be prudent for me to be seen by a consultant cardiologist as heart failure was hereditary in the family. The cardiologist had recently returned from the States and he strongly recommended an angiogram, in his words this was the gold standard approach to my circumstances. I was duly booked in for the procedure and while still in the theatre he announced I had "serious chronic heart disease". Quite a surprise for my wife and myself as I felt fine. He basically advised that the choice was a by-pass or an angioplasty, I opted for the latter and stents were implanted the following week. Medication was then increased. I then decided I would join a gym to improve fitness and pay more attention to diet, although I did not consider this was poor. Over the next few years my condition was regularly monitored and I considered I was fit [...]

Patient Story: “Getting Back to Normal…”2020-10-21T15:20:50+00:00