New neuro functional training programme to be provided at Cork facility

The initiative will allow people with neurological conditions to access exercise programmes devised by physiotherapists in a supported environment. The northside of Cork city is set to benefit from a new neuro functional training programme, which has been established in Mayfield Sports Complex. The initiative will allow people with neurological conditions to access exercise programmes devised by physiotherapists in a supported environment. The community-based service is available thanks to the collaborative partnership approach to community health and physical activity between Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Physiotherapy, Cork Local Sports Partnership and Mayfield Sports Complex. Funding from Cork Local Sports Partnership’s active cities project has provided specialised gym equipment to support the service.

The active cities campaign is based on the World Health Organisation’s Global Action Plan for Physical Activity (GAPPA), which is focused on getting those who are least active, including those who have a disability, more active. Karen Brosnan, senior physiotherapist in Neurorehab based in St Mary’s Primary Care, is the clinician leading the northside programme. Karen and her team provide the service along with staff at the Mayfield Sports Complex, including general manager Paul O’Leary, personal trainer Seamus Leddy and Cork Local Sports Partnership tutor Sandra O’Gorman, who provides additional support for participating clients. “The goal is to maximise functional capacity for those with long term chronic conditions but also to keep people well in their community,” Ms Brosnan explained. The service in Mayfield was first piloted with a group of individuals from Headway, a support service that provides rehabilitation services for people living with an acquired brain injury. Alan McCarthy, a Headway client, outlined his experience of the programme. “I’m loving it, I’ve seen people come on leaps and bounds since they started. “Even with myself, I’m improving which is a great bonus,” he said. “There are people on the programme who I’ve been in hospital with, seeing them improving is phenomenal.  “The adapted equipment has made a difference,” Mr McCarthy added. Bob O’Brien, community rehabilitation worker with Headway, highlighted the impact the service provides.

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“Many of our clients attending this program would have had no access to physiotherapy for several years, nor would they have stepped into a gym for a long time due to the expense of memberships, inaccessible machines, and untrained staff,” he explained.

“Removing these barriers for our clients and creating pathways to physical activity and exercise in their community is one of the many goals of our community rehabilitation service in Headway.”


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