Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


The Grampian Rehabilitation Association + is applying for £10,000 of funding from the Aviva Community Fund, in order to train up to 12 new exercise instructors, so the charity can expand the delivery of professionally-led exercise classes to more communities throughout Aberdeenshire and, therefore, dramatically increase the number of people with long-term health conditions who can benefit from GCRA's ethos of 'Fitness, Fun & Friendship' and, consequently, improve their health and well-being.

GCRA+ receives no funding from NHS Grampian and relies on community fundraising activities and grants funding to raise around £25,000 annually to enable the charity to continue delivering exercise classes for people with long-term health conditions and, therefore, it is dependent on securing grants funding to operate and expand.

The benefits of exercise for people with long-term health conditions have been widely recognised by the NHS and patients are being encouraged to self-manage their health conditions within a medical landscape, which is struggling to cope with the demand for national health services.

GCRA was established in the face of adversity in 2002 by 3 cardiac patients when, following a report from the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence in 2001, it was deemed that NHS Grampian were no longer obligated to fund Phase 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation exercise classes in Grampian (the first 3 stages of cardiac rehabilitation are provided by NHS Grampian - Phase 1: person is admitted to hospital; Phase 2: person is discharged from hospital and returns home; Phase 3: intensive outpatient therapy) and the existing cardiac rehabilitation classes in this area immediately ceased.

Initially a training programme was funded by NHS Grampian on a one-off basis and 6 qualified instructors became available to GCRA within Aberdeenshire.

After piloting generic exercise classes for patients with a range of long-term health conditions on behalf of NHS Grampian in 2013/14, a decision was made by the GCRA board of directors to open up their classes to the same range of NHS patients, e.g. those affected by arthritis, diabetes, depression, asthma....

Currently, GCRA+ funds 9 BACPR trained instructors to deliver a range of 28 exercise classes throughout Aberdeenshire - chair-based, gentle exercise and circuits-based classes.

The increasing demand for exercise classes for people affected by long-term health conditions throughout Aberdeenshire is evident through community partnership working e.g. with Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action and fellow charitable community groups, and the demand for these specialist exercise classes will continue to increase given the ageing population.

Consequently, it has become necessary to train additional Phase 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation exercise instructors. GCRA, in association with The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, trains the exericse instructors who lead their classes through the British Association of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation. The BACPR qualification is the UK’s leading Level 4 cardiac course for exercise professionals and enables exercise instructors to gain the gold standard Level 4 cardiac course for exercise professionals, recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and SkillsActive.

Since 2002, the charity has supported over 1200 individuals with long-term health conditions to engage in exercise and accumulated a membership of nearly 800 people, leading to many positive outcomes, e.g. improved physical health and psychological well-being and reduced social isolation.

Overall, in order for GCRA+ to develop new exercise classes throughout Aberdeenshire to meet increasing demand, the charity needs to secure funding to run a BACPR training course for up to 12 new instructors.

Please vote for this amazing, small, community-based charity, which is promoting empowerment, self-management and improving health and well-being!


Moment of Pride

I'm extremely proud of GCRA+ as it has demonstrated the huge physical, psychological and social benefits a small community-based charity, who are passionate and committed to improving the health & well-being of people living with chronic illness, can generate for individuals and local communities.

Location: Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom