Service users and carers are now able to get on a set of stationary bikes at a Morpeth-based charity.
MS Research and Relief Fund (MSRRF) has launched its new indoor cycling classes, made possible thanks to a significant donation from Morpeth Stobhill county councillor John Beynon.
It was able to purchase two spin bikes and one recumbent bike to add to the two stationary bikes it already had, as well as a projector and sound system.
MSRRF fund-raising officer Hayley Lynn said: “In January, we successfully ran a Pedal Power event to promote our upcoming Coast to Coast bike ride by having service users and their carers virtually cycle 130 miles, replicating the famous Coast to Coast cycle route.
“We set-up a projector and found footage of the route, which we projected onto the wall accompanied by upbeat music playing through a speaker.
“This event went down so well that service users and their carers began asking when the next one would be held.
“What we found from the atmosphere we had created with visual aids was that those in the class were able to cycle for longer and further than if they were in a normal gym session on their own.
“It was also an opportunity for both service users and carers to attend a class together, something previously unavailable.
“We had couples and friends egging each other on competing to see who could cycle the furthest for the longest.
“When Coun Beynon approached the charity with a sum of money he wished to donate, we already had the bones of a project that we wanted to get up and running.
“Thanks to his donation of around £4,500, we were able to buy the equipment we needed to make the indoor cycling classes happen and there was some money left over, which meant we were able to also purchase purchased parallel walking bars and two new thumpers to be used by our therapist to offer sports massages.
“We are delighted to be able to offer these classes on a permanent basis. They will run every Tuesday and Friday between 1pm and 2pm.
“Luckily, we have a member of staff, Nikki Robson, who is a fully trained spin instructor. She will be running the classes with another gym staff member to assist.
“Lots of singing and dancing is involved to make this a challenging, but fun exercise class for all abilities thanks to the range of bikes available.”
The charity’s Benmar House facility in Stobhillgate provides complementary therapies, social activities and exercise classes to people with MS.
MSRRF also gives MS sufferers across the UK grants for aids and adaptions, equipment and respite care.
Coun Beynon became involved with the charity through our its Great Benmar Bake Off competition.
He said: “I was shown around the place and told what MSRRF does and I then decided to get involved with helping the charity.
“I donated some of my members small schemes allowance for this year for the project the staff had identified and it was great to be invited to officially launch it at the first class.
“It was quite emotional to see how much the service users were enjoying the class.”