Community rehabilitation project launches for people with neurological conditions


People in Cardiff and the Vale requiring neurological rehabilitation will now be able to access free exercise and activity groups within the local community


Following significant investment by Welsh Government into the development of a community neurological rehabilitation service, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has set up a partnership venture with Greenwich Leisure LTD (GLL) who manage Better leisure centres in Cardiff to enable people with neurological conditions to use local leisure facilities.

The project has been set up to provide people with their rehabilitation closer to home so they do not need to attend hospital sites for these appointments. The classes are for people that have a neurological condition including brain tumours, stroke, traumatic brain injury, MS and acquired brain injury, the aim is to support people to self-manage their condition.

The groups will run over 10 weeks at Fairwater, Eastern and Llanishen Leisure Centres in Cardiff and Hen Goleg in Barry where people can access classes including lower limb exercises and balance classes, upper limb exercises and wheelchair fitness as well as mindfulness classes.

The UHB has placed two Active Passive Trainers (APT’s) in Fairwater and Llanishen Leisure Centres and have also provided training for the staff working in these facilities. This will enable people with neurological rehabilitation needs to use the APTs in the local community and access the equipment without the need to attend hospital appointments.

Huw Davies, Community Neurological Rehabilitation Service Lead at Cardiff and Vale UHB said, “For the first time our neurological clients can use the local leisure facilities free of charge to attend exercise and activity groups run by Cardiff and Vale UHB staff. This innovative way of working allows our clients supported access to local leisure facilities and promotes ongoing healthy active lifestyles which is something they asked for in our focus groups.”

The launch of this project follows an initial six week pilot which was a success with over 170 attendances through the six week period ranging from 19 years old to over 80 years old.


what the community is saying

Feedback from those that took part in the initial pilot included: “This class gave me the motivation I would not have working alone in the home. It pushed me to do movements I wouldn’t otherwise do. Excellent service and brilliant staff running the groups. This is an invaluable course for spinal rehab once leaving hospital or a rehab centre.”

The patient experience questions showed the value that they placed on the groups with most strongly recommending the group to somebody with the same condition as them. It shows that the venues delivered all the facilities that patients required to attend the groups as part of their rehabilitation.

Jane Clemence, Community Sports Manager at GLL said, “The partnership with the Community Neurological Rehabilitation Service has been a great way for Better Leisure Centres in Cardiff to understand what can be offered to encourage regular participation by people that would normally only attend hospital based exercise classes. GLL Better Cardiff Centres are now looking to offer casual activities based on demand. We are looking forward to the new sessions that will include activities such as walking football, table tennis and board games and activities.”