Good News Stories March 2016

Ways to Wellness

Good News Stories March 2016

The Ways to Wellness team in Newcastle provide a social prescribing service for individuals with long term conditions. Please see some of their great news stories from the last month below:


Case 1.

Met with client to review goals. Said she was off work due to her depression at the moment, and had applied for voluntary redundancy. Despite that, she was very positive and was looking to keep herself active; to “get back on her feet”, in her words. She has been attending Newcastle Talking Therapies for 4 weeks and feels she is really making progress. She has also decided to join a gym which she attends 3 times a week and, during the session, applied for a voluntary position helping to rehabilitate sex offenders.


“My life just crashed and burned; I was overwhelmed at work. But enough is enough!

It’s time to start doing something I genuinely want to do with my life”


Case 2.

When client first came in, she was using a stick following an accident last year. Walks very short distances and felt she could not do very much. Was going to physio and slowly improving. Encouraged client to walk daily as far as she feels comfortable and suggested Why Weight. Met her 6 weeks later and she no longer needs her stick, is walking 5 times a week and was over the moon she managed to walk 4 miles from her house to Costa and back last week. Very excited to continue with WtoW, agreed to take up swimming twice a week and has agreed to be referred to Why Weight after an operation on her foot.


“I just started a slow walk to Morrisons & thought I would keep going. Never thought I’d be able to walk that far so soon!”


Case 3.

At initial consultation she shared that she was very low I confidence and was not sure if she would like to meet new people. Her main goal was to lose weight and she was referred to why weight with a goal to attend once to see what it was like. She is now regularly attending Why Weight and has increased in confidence to be able to apply for a volunteer position with a charity close to her heart.


“I am loving Why Weight' I was nearly pooping my pants at the thought of it - now little pockets of confidence are coming back”


Case 4.

At initial meeting the only goal set was to go for a walk once per week to support weight loss goal. Follow up sessions supported this alongside planning a healthier diet as he was not measuring his blood levels and when he did they were often outside the limits he had been set. He was very reluctant to attend any session with other people and was not keeping to his goal to walk. At 6 month review he agreed a referral to the health trainers after a visit to see what the Lemington Centre was like. A couple of weeks later he got in touch to say he had really enjoyed his first session and would be continuing to attend.


'Thank You. You have helped me so much - I feel that you really listen and let me make changes in my own time'


Case 5.

Goals: Feel fitter, Address alcohol intake, Exercise safely.

Client had Pulmonary Embolism last year and reported she felt she was slow to recover; felt very fatigued and had concerns about exercising as she said she felt extreme tiredness for several days after exercise. Client is aware she is overweight and also shared she drinks alcohol each day to try to cope with her feelings of frustration and to help her relax. We discussed her goal to lose weight and improve her fitness/energy levels and, with the help of Drink line Information resources, what negative impacts alcohol has on these goals. Client practices Mindfulness she says, so we set a goal to be Mindful when drinking, to be aware of the amount she is drinking and to have the bottle of wine in a different room and to intersperse alcohol with a soft drink etc. Client has the contacts for Drink line and says she is going to prioritise cutting down on her drinking.

Client has also been referred to BOC Pulmonary Rehab and has been to the first two sessions and reports she is really enjoying it. Client also reports that at her Asthma review her medication has been altered and she thinks the combination of all the above has led to her improvement.


“ I am going swimming every Monday and to the exercise classes as well and I feel so much better , I woke up at 8am the other morning and I felt great – I can’t remember the last time that happened”

Case 6.

Her son has learning disabilities and sleepwalks regularly. She loses a lot of sleep getting up to look after him in the night. Her life is completely wrapped around her son and everything involved in looking after him. I found it difficult to get her to think about herself and set personal goals not to do with her son. She did agree to go swimming on an afternoon when son had a carer looking after him.



While at the pool she also met a couple of women who go regularly and they swapped numbers so they can meet for a coffee. One of these women has a daughter with disabilities so they chatted a lot, this could be a valuable new connection for her. The last time when I saw her she was so proud of herself for going.



She has set a new goal to bake some bread buns, and has asked for a referral for an assessment to make sure she is on the right benefits for herself, and her own mobility, not just for her son.


"I felt like a kid again, I've not been for so long...I must have been 12 the last time I swam, I felt so happy, I wanted to do what I'd done then, so, I got out and jumped in at the deep end! I loved it! I'm going again. And, I tell you, I slept like a log that night too."



Highlights from Service Users:


“First time in years that I have been able to walk around the supermarket without using an electric scooter, also not using stair lift in house”


“ I am going swimming every Monday and to the exercise classes as well and I feel so much better , I woke up at 8am the other morning and I felt great – I can’t remember the last time that happened”


“That’s my time now, that’s for me. I’m not taking him (her son) to that. If he wants to go swimming we’ll find another time”.


“It’s so lovely to have someone to chat things through with; you’ve really spurred me on”


"I feel like I've turned a corner just by getting things of my chest. Even my friends have noticed that I'm happier. I feel a whole world better. Thank you so much"


“I didn’t know if I would like the classes and I am looking forward to coming and talking about it with you. I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve had to work hard!”