I began my career in fitness 32 years ago and have been an exercise practitioner ever since. In 2000 I completed a Certificate in Education and Training in the Post Compulsory Sector. Two years later I graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a First-Class Honours degree in Health and Sports Studies.
I was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Evaluation and Research in 2009. I have also been a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physical Activity and Health at the University of Huddersfield.
In 2010 I started a business delivering health related exercise classes, including clinical Pilates and dance fitness, to groups and individuals living in Huddersfield and surrounding areas. Classes were designed for those would benefit the most from developing overall health and wellbeing particularly older adults and returners to fitness. Numbers attending the classes quickly grew and by 2014 were averaging 500 people a week.
In 2016 I began to specialise in working with adults with limited movement and older adults at risk of becoming isolated. At this point I formed Just Movement which is a not-for-profit organisation designed to improve the health and wellbeing of these sub-group populations through regular participation in chair-based dance classes. These sessions are very popular and the highlight of the week for many of those attending. As one elderly participant pointed out ‘I really look forward to the company and the music makes me feel on top of the world’. During the pandemic Just Movement diversified its services to include live streaming of chair dance classes online and on ZOOM. This has led to us becoming approved providers for the British Lung Foundation and Age UK.
Today, although in semi-retirement, I continue to work hard to improve the health and wellbeing of others through my work as an exercise practitioner and director of Just Movement. I have also moved into the world of mindfulness and this year became an accredited mindfulness for stress teacher with Breathworks UK. I look forwards to many more years of inspiring others to engage in a more active and balanced lifestyle.