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Case study: Joanne's Volunteering Journey

2nd July 2019

Joanne - Volunteer for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Joanne Russell.jpg

Having been an active sport loving person all my life I was frustrated at age 51 to develop various debilitating joint and musculoskeletal problems.  To make matters worse I had to be medically retired after almost thirty years’ service from my much loved, but physically demanding job that I was devoted to and I was devastated; my life as I knew it had been turned upside down and I felt lost and useless.

I'd heard about the Blackburn with Darwen Refresh Scheme and with support from my GP joined the 12 week Aqua Stride programme and Stability classes, and really never looked back!  I really did get a new lease of life.

Because of how it helped me I decided I wanted to give something back.  I'm proud to say I am now a Volunteer with BwD Refresh and helping others to be active and happy.  I have always enjoyed helping people and this is what I was used to doing in my career.

Being given this opportunity has been amazing, I love it, but what makes it all the more satisfying is not only knowing how far I personally have come, but knowing I can help others because of my own experiences.  I love being a role model for others and an ambassador for the service.  

I feel so lucky thanks to the Refresh Team, I feel useful again with a purpose and at the same time keeping myself as active as I can be, but even more so......I'm enjoying myself. 

Thank you to you all for helping me achieve all this and for this fabulous worthy opportunity being a Volunteer, I'm so grateful.