VIDEO: Have a heart and volunteer with city cardiac group

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A group which encourages people with heart problems to exercise is looking for volunteers.

The Milton Keynes Community Cardiac Group, based in Bletchley, was founded 24 years ago by Gill Robinson, with the aim of supporting people who had been to hospital after suffering from angina, heart attacks and other cardio problems.

The group’s plan was to develop people’s fitness levels and help them ease back into the community after coming out of hospital.

It proved so popular that users kept attending the weekly sessions even after they had recovered.

And the single session has now grown to five a week, with morning and evening options. These days the group has 400 people on its books.

It also provides support to other charities including the Talk Back Club, which aims to improve the self confidence of those with learning disabilities, and Different Strokes, a charity providing support for younger stroke survivors.

Gill said: “We need more volunteers or we will struggle to keep going. We need high numbers to attend the sessions as well.

“As long as it is safe to do so we will exercise anyone who comes along.”

Betty Guy has been working with the group since 1997.

“I think it’s great. I don’t think I’d be here today because it makes you aware of the conditions that can affect you and it makes you exercise once a week,” she said.

The group meet at Hinton Hall, in Bletchley, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings between 10am and 12pm, or Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 7pm and 9pm.

Every six weeks each member has their blood pressure checked to make sure they are safe to exercise.

Paid staff, including nurses, physios and exercise teachers then take them through a regime with gym equipment also available in the building’s upstairs room.

Anyone aged 16 and over can apply to be a volunteer, although younger applicants may require parental consent.

A coffee morning will be held between 10am and 2pm on June 7 at the group’s home in Hinton Hall, Whaddon Way.

Entrance is £1.50 and people can enjoy tea and coffee and snacks, as well as a cake sale, tombola, book sale, crafts and a raffle with proceeds shared between themselves and their two chosen charities.

For more information call 01908 632999.