Some of the Happy Breathers members in a picture taken soon after last year’s launch Terry Littlewood (back, left), Dennis Burke and Pauline Spring

A support group and community clinic for people with the lung condition COPD is celebrating its first birthday.

The Spalding-based Happy Breathers group was established as a pilot project in August last year and now regularly attracts up to 20 attendees each week.

Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS) worked with South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group to launch the group.

David Fannin, LCVS chief executive, said: “The success is perceived to be so great that this pilot project has been extended into 2018 and weekly hours increased from two to three.

“The informal environment is attended by clinicians and has allowed intervention opportunities to be identified for various participants in relation to low oxygen levels, better understanding of their condition, depression and to encourage attendance at rehabilitation courses. These important outcomes not only benefit individual wellbeing, but help avoid higher cost pressures on the NHS, such as hospital admissions.”

The sessions are run on an informal, drop-in basis with the usual format seeing gentle, appropriate exercise on offer during parts of the session for those who wish to take part and a different activity, talk or demonstration each week. Refreshments, chatting and access to respiratory professionals are also part of the offer.

The clinic is designed to recognise that people are often the experts on their own situation and condition and therefore those who attend have a large say in what it includes.

Sessions are attended by Lincolnshire Community Health Services (LCHS) respiratory clinicians and provide opportunities for group advice and information.

The clinic also offers an opportunity to find out about and share information on other services available in the local area.

Originally launched to run until March this year, the clinic’s future has already been assured until next February. It is hoped it will continue beyond that.

Usually sessions kick off with gentle exercise followed by a talk or activity.

In coming weeks sessions will include a talk from a local optician; British Red Cross first aid session aimed at people with COPD and craft sessions around Christmas.

Past sessions have included talks from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue – those with COPD can face additional fire risks relating to having oxygen therapy at homes; presentations around dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and stress, Laughter Yoga and Singing for Health.

A birthday session was held on Thursday, August 31.

To find out more about the COPD community clinic contact LCVS on 01205 510888 option 3, email enquiry@lincolnshirecvs.org.uk or go along to the Ivo Day Centre, Albion Street, Spalding, 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Thursdays.

See what others have said about Happy Breathers: COPD community clinic Spalding

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