PENSIONER Joan Allard has transformed her quality of life after completing an ESCAPE-pain class at Holmes Chapel Community Centre.

Joan, 87, lives in the village, didn’t have very good balance and wasn’t confident when walking.

After attending the class she no longer needs the walking stick she relied on and can walk up and down the stairs with ease.

She has also seen a reduction in her pain, and now goes to the gym at least twice a week.

ESCAPE-Pain is a funded, six-week, evidenced-based rehabilitation programme, sometimes called the ‘knee or hip class’, designed to reduce pain and disability for people with chronic joint pain or osteoarthritis.

You will receive information, advice and support from qualified ESCAPE-Pain instructors to help better manage your chronic joint pain and lead a more active life.

There are classes available at Holmes Chapel Community Centre.

“At the beginning Joan had a lot of scepticism, and didn’t believe that exercising would be able to have the same effect on her pain as medication did,” said instructor Josie Hurst.

“After three weeks of classes she began to feel a drastic difference; had a reduction in pain and started to feel better within herself.

“The structure of the class made her feel extremely comfortable and she felt being around people with similar problems to her helped her gain confidence in the class.

“The exercises made a vast improvement in Joan’s ability and confidence, and the fact the exercises could be done at home made her more interested in exercising at home.

“Since completing ESCAPE-pain Joan no longer requires the stick she was dependent on and can walk up and down the stairs with ease.

“Joan has now joined the gym, and along with three of her friends she made at the class goes to the gym at least twice a week.

“The friendships Joan has made from ESCAPE-pain have helped her a lot; they all support and motivate each other.”

Joan now enjoys exercising and has set her sights on doing Aquafit classes next. She now attends Josie’s follow-on class, where they continue implementing the exercises.

If you are aged over 45, have knee and/or hip pain for more than three months, are independently mobile and able to carry out regular exercise and committed to taking part in two classes per week over six weeks and returning for a final session on week 12, you are eligible to receive the funded course.

For more information and to sign up email or call 01270 685589.