Sport England has awarded local health and wellbeing specialist Jenny Oakenfull, in conjunction with Feel Better Bradford (formerly Bradford Pain Matters Support Group (BPMSG)), funding to provide a course of holistic, movement based pain-management sessions for chronic pain sufferers. Feel Better Bradford is a Versus Arthritis Group that offers support for people with MSK conditions and long term health conditions.

These fully-funded classes teach vital skills on how to proactively manage pain, enjoy beneficial exercise and meet new people. Sessions include gentle stretching, plus breathing and relaxation techniques for use at home. Jenny has been creating and delivering these valuable sessions for the past 2.5 years on a paid for basis. Now due to Sport England Exercise for Wellbeing and Mobility grant, Jenny will be able to provide four classes per week for four months. These sessions will be fully-funded by the grant. In order to allow the sessions to run longer than the grant-funded four months, a pay as you feel* option will be offered for those that are able to contribute.

Bradford-based Jenny also lives with the long-term health condition, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) so has first hand experience of the difference these tools and techniques can make to daily life when living with chronic health conditions.
Jenny said:

“I am delighted that this funding will allow me to help more people, especially those who have previously been unable to access the sessions due to financial pressures. I believe that no one is broken and in need of fixing but that simple techniques to learn what our movement patterns are, and other ways to safely move, can make a big difference to our experience of pain.

“As a person with a long-term health condition I know that practising movement, relaxation and eating well helps to reduce pain. I understand that there are times when being in pain is stressful and feels overwhelming and you feel the urge to walk away from it all or sit in a corner and cry. I’ve been there. I am living proof that these tools work, and I feel fortunate to be able to use my personal experiences, along with my professional qualifications, to teach local people ways to cope in these situations.”

These sessions will start week commencing 9th January 2023, with two in-person sessions running at Clayton Village Hall, Bradford, and two sessions running online on Zoom.

Roger Walker, Chair of Feel Better Bradford said: “It’s brilliant that Versus Arthritis and SportEngland have made it possible for our group to offer much needed free classes to the most vulnerable and hard up, especially in these grim and unpredictable times. It’s long been our aim to reach more people and now, with this grant, we will be able to provide this support and offer something really positive to look forward to each week.”