A ‘LIFE CHANGING experience’ is how one woman described her time with the BPL health referral programme.

Claire Finnerty, 43, from Salter Oak Croft, Barnsley, has lost one stone three pounds after taking part in the 12 week Barnsley Premier Leisure programme.

Designed to kick start healthier lifestyles and help tackle low risk medical problems, like obesity and back pain, it sees participants attend supervised and structured physical activity sessions.

Claire’s amazing results have seen her have a 6cm reduction from her waist, a 2.1 per cent fall in BMI stats and an overall bodyweight loss of 6.4 per cent.

Claire said: “The Health Referral Scheme has completely changed my life in mind and body, and the journey I have started will never end.’’

“I have never felt as good about myself and feel more positive every passing day. I feel so much healthier in every way and although I still have a long way to go, I am 100 per cent committed to setting small goals and ensuring I reach them.”

BPL’s scheme fills a gap in the Barnsley area, which was left without any form of health referral scheme when NHS Barnsley’s funding ended in 2013.

Participants are either self-referred, or referred by their health professional and benefit by paying a minimal £3 charge per class or a reduced rate membership.

Claire worked with scheme co-ordinator Mark Goodhead on her plan.

She followed her health scheme programme card by attending the gym three times a week, walking the three mile stretch home from work and introducing swimming into her regular life.

Claire also made changes to her diet and started eating healthier as well as cutting down on her alcohol intake, which helped her with weight loss and improve her general wellbeing.

“I can recommend this scheme to anyone as the transformation to mind and body is amazing, and with the help and support from Mark and his team anyone’s dream can come true,” Claire said.

“Taking part in this scheme has kept me completely motivated and also changed my mindset, to a lifelong commitment of healthy eating and exercise.’

“I cannot thank Mark and his team enough and also my friends and family for the constant support throughout this 12 week journey.”

Mark said: “BPL are proud to have helped Claire and others attending the Health Referral Scheme to work towards becoming healthier and managing their health more effectively. The results Claire has achieved have been fantastic and her commitment to an exercise regime and healthy eating has helped her make significant changes to her lifestyle in order to continue to achieve her goals.

“The Health Referral Scheme helps people manage and improve their health with the support of dedicated Health Referral Advisor’s who will work with individuals to develop a tailored programme to meet their needs. The progress Claire has made has been testament to her commitment and determination to make lifestyle changes, and I look forward to following her journey beyond the Health Referral Scheme through her continuing to attend exercise sessions with BPL.”

Claire has documented her progress through the programme.

You can watch her videos on the BPL and Fitness Flex Facebook social sites. To see if you qualify for the Health Referral Scheme, visit: https://www.bpl.org.uk/barnsley-community-health/long-term-exercise-in-barnsley