Active Recovery, one of the Derby County Community Trust’s flagship health programmes supporting cancer rehabilitation, has been able to begin a phased return with help from The Base – Derby’s newest studio and exercise facility.

Taking early preventative measures back in March to ensure the safety of their participants, Active Recovery was one of the first programmes to see all sessions put on hold as a result of the pandemic.

Along with other health programmes tackling social isolation, falls prevention, drug and alcohol misuse and other health inequalities, the Trust’s 200+ weekly session were soon transformed into virtual hubs.

Since July, guided by all relevant legislation and advice from the government and the FA, many of the Trust’s lower risk sessions began reopening with strict risk assessments.

However, the real difficulty for certain programmes was that the vulnerability of participants due to pre-disposed health conditions meant finding a suitable venue to begin to restart sessions was a real challenge.

Steph Thompson, who heads up the Active Recovery project, said:

“We have over 250 current participants and knew so many of them were desperate to get back to our sessions. Although they have been really dedicated to the online activities, the social isolation was becoming more evident.

“Cancer treatment can cause many side effects even many years after our participants might have gone through it, and physical activity supports their anxiety and fatigue.

“We have been able to utilise outdoor facilities for many of our other sessions, including all football based activity that we run, but this is a specialist programme and this wouldn’t have been suitable.

“There is limited indoor availability across the city so when Karen Morris, who has recently opened The Base following lockdown, got in touch it was an amazing opportunity to get the sessions we know and love back up and running!”

Karen Morris, owner of The Base added:

“Opening The Base after a tough period for the fitness industry meant even more than usual, health and safety was our foremost priority.

“We have taken the decision to invest in an industrial anti-fogger which is used daily to sanitise all equipment, along with sanitisation before and after every session that is ran within The Base.

“We are really proud to be able to offer up this new space in the city for those who it can really help, and there can’t be a better example of this than being to help the Active Recovery programme.”

Session sizes are limited and an online offer is still running for all those who would prefer to remain at home.

If Active Recovery could help you following a cancer diagnosis or treatment, or someone you know, find out more and get in touch: www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com/active-recovery.

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