Health and Wellbeing Stories

Staff Stories

Shelley Cooper – How the Trust helped change my life

A MEMBER of staff who has lost more than five stone in the last year has thanked the Trust’s Occupational Health and Physiotherapy departments for their support.

Shelley Cooper, Strategy & Business Development Administrator, who works at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said the help she received from the departments after self referring for back pain treatment in late 2013, was first class and gave her the push she needed to make a change to her life.

Shelley said: “I was having problems with my back and referred myself for physio which, in hindsight, was one of the best things I have ever done.

“They said the problem was worse than I thought and advised me that to make it better I would need to lose some weight as well as have the treatment.

“Although I don’t like to talk in stones and pounds I was the heaviest I had ever been and in truth I was disgusted with myself. I was telling my teenage son he needed to lose weight and then I looked at myself and thought how hypocritical I was being.

“I was so big that it was no wonder I had back problems really and their advice gave me the wake up call I needed.”

Shelley then took advantage of the Slimming World sessions offered by the Trust and from then she hasn’t looked back with the weight, slowly, gradually, but continually dropping off.

She said: “The help I had from the people at Slimming World was fantastic and i would urge anyone in the Trust who is looking to make a change in their lifestyle to contact them and take advantage of the classes they run with the Trust.

“I started my classes on January 15th 2014 and they made a massive difference to my life because they taught me I didn’t have to be on a diet all the time and starve. I follow the advice now, eat five meals a day and am never hungry because you can eat really well but make sure you eat the right foods.

“You do have to make lifestyle changes and I do now often walk the five miles round trip to work every day and I actually enjoy it. I have started yoga as well to help my back and I feel the best I have in years. People have actually walked past me because they haven’t realised it was me.

“I’m 46 now and feel disappointed with myself because I should have done this years ago and I would really like people to know the support really is there. My Physio Deidre McCormick was a massive help and I owe her a lot.

“It’s never too late and although it may seem daunting at first a few small changes can make a massive difference.”

Matthew Fife – A THREE-DAY charity cycle ride raised nearly £4,000 for Cure Leukaemia.

Matt Fife, 41, from Bispham, who works for the Trust as an IT Support Services Manager, raised £1,280 in sponsorship. Here he describes his marathon effort.

It was what memories are made of.

It was all about the banter, the constant mick taking out of each other, the continual smile upon our faces and the humongous belly laughs, the barrage of tongue in cheek complaints – not another bloody hill, and so on.

The first day was the hardest at just short of 79 miles and 3,500ft of climbing. Some of us had a good cooked breakfast to see us on our way and some were very strict in their dietary needs having a bowl of porridge and a slice of toast.

I opted for the full English. After completing the day’s riding of being in the saddle and actually cycling for just over five-and-a-half hours, we had was a much needed shower, change, dinner and beer!

Day two saw one of our fellow cyclists having to get into the support van as his knee could not take him any further.

He had plied himself with all sorts of medication, sprays and creams, but to no avail.

It was 72.5 miles and 2,200ft of climbing with another five hours of being in the saddle.

The next hotel had a swimming pool, so a dip in there and the steam room before shower, change dinner and beer this time.

Day three was our final day, loads more banter, bit of a ‘got lost’ routine as well, but we ventured on.

We eventually arrived at 5pm at Southend on Sea, after another 79 miles and 2,400ft of climbing and all complaining about sore backsides.

We did the obligatory photo and headed down to the sea front for a well-deserved fish and chips before getting all our gear into the van and setting off home. There was absolutely no let up with the banter all the way home.

To sum it up, made some great friends, laughed like I’d never laughed before, a self-satisfaction from completing the ride and generating over a thousand pound for the Cure Leukaemia charity. What better way to spend my bank holiday weekend!