Published on 10th July 2014

Leisure-at-cheltenham is working with The Gloucestershire Hospitals Physiotherapy service and the Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust (GAT).

GAT have made a £7,800 grant - to trial a programme called LEAP (Lower Extremity Activity Programme) for people who have chronic hip and knee pain.

The six week course is run by Physiotherapist Chris Moule who is based at Cheltenham General Hospital and a fitness instructor from leisure-at-cheltenham. The sessions include supervised exercise and education to cover the benefits of exercise, weight management, effective use of pain relief medication and managing flare ups of pain. Once the programme finishes, a concession gym membership at leisure-at-cheltenham is available to attendees to support them in continuing their exercise.

Stephen Petherick, general manager at leisure-at-cheltenham, says: “I am pleased to see this exciting extension to our highly successful Re-Active concession scheme. It’s great working in partnership with the Gloucestershire Hospitals Physiotherapy Service and GAT to deliver this.”

Chris Moule, Physiotherapist says “Research including the NICE Guideline on Osteoarthritis has shown that an approach combining exercise and learning skills to help cope with symptoms provides long term benefit and doing this in a group setting has been shown to enhance the benefits further. This is why we are trialling this programme, funded by GAT, for people in Gloucestershire.

“It is great to be able to use the facilities at leisure-at-cheltenham. This will help our patients make the transition from the health to the leisure setting, and facilitate the long term changes to lifestyle that can help to manage the symptoms of arthritis.”

Steve Morton, GAT Secretary says, “Our grants for equipment and treatment are helping around 2,000 people every year to get their mobility and often their lives back on track. Innovative programmes such as LEAP will enable even more people to live more normal lives.”

Feedback from attendees has so far been very positive, including:
“It was nice to get guidance and support to exercise safely and manage pain. I found the talks very interesting and it was good to be able to get answers to any questions we had. I found the programme very motivating.

“I found the programme most helpful in two ways: Progressing exercise in the gym, which I hope to continue and providing information regarding other areas of health for example pain, flare-ups, supplements etcetera which I have not been given before. A very helpful programme.”

Cllr Rowena Hay, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles, added: “It’s great to see partners working together to deliver a service which will help local residents. The feedback has been very positive, so I hope more people can benefit from this course in the future.”

For more information contact Chris Moule at Cheltenham General Physiotherapy Department 0300 422 2943


For press enquiries, contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154 or email: [email protected]

For GAT enquiries contact: Steve Morton, Secretary, telephone 01242 221005 or email: [email protected]
The first LEAP programme took place in April. It is a six week rolling programme with one or two new participants joining each week. GAT has provided a £7,800 grant to enable the programme to run for 12 months.