People get better in a warm and friendly environment. Wadge Grzelak, centre director, is pictured with a centre user.

Daventry health centre encourages and inspires people to reach for the stars

Reach for Health charity provides crucial community lifeline

By Lucie Green
Friday, 11th March 2022, 1:39 pm

A Daventry health centre has grown to become a crucial 'lifeline' in the community.

The Reach for Health Centre helps people with a wide range of physical and mental health rehabilitation needs.

I was invited to meet the team and its users and was immediately struck by the warmth of the place.

Some of the users have complex health needs. One thing they did have in common though was determination - and high praise for the centre.

Let me make one thing clear; it's not 'just a gym'. Sure, there's lots of equipment to help people of all ability levels improve themselves, but this is where you come to be treated on an holistic level.

Yes, the car park is in need of attention, but I'm assured steps are being taken to make it safe for the hundreds of people who see the centre as their second home.

Based at Stefen Hill Ground, in Western Avenue, Reach for Health is run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

Users are referred to the centre for a number of reasons from weight loss, sports injury, pre and post joint replacement to more long term conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, cardiac problems, cancer, stroke and much more.

Centre director Wadge Grzelak said the centre has supported people aged from 13-95.

He told this newspaper: "Our job is to get people in the right mindset and give them belief and hope."

It's clear from Wadge's warm energy and depth of knowledge, he is passionate about his work and the success stories the centre creates.

"We tackle two principal issues; we educate people in ways to improve their fitness, diet and lifestyle and find ways to deal with the need for health rehabilitation for those already affected and who will become affected by major health issues.

"We help people be the best they can be - and that's priceless."

There's also a range of complementary services, which include special classes and therapies. Classes include a knit and natter club and gardening.

Wadge added: "We have recently launched an Active Healthy Ageing programme that runs for 12 weeks and is aimed at help people that are in need of recovering from the affects of Covid and those that have become very deconditioned from the lack of movement during the pandemic. This programme runs alongside our other groups which include our Parkinson’s group, Get Up and Go falls prevention class, Cardio-rehab group, Breathing Space group lead by Northampton Carers and Seated Tai Chi."

More than 90 percent of the centre users are referred by their GPs, NHS hospital doctors, consultants or other health professionals.

Dan Miller is manager of Reach for Health.

He was referred in 2011 following a sports injury. Dan quickly became a member of the centre and seeing the type of work done at Reach for Health, he decided that the concept of rehabilitation and helping others was something he wished to pursue.

In fact, he was so inspired by the centre, he focused his further education specifically to work at The Reach for Health Centre.

"It's the whole social aspect," Dan said.

"The centre has a really welcoming atmosphere and it's a place where many friendships are built."

Centre user Sharon Moore added: "It's such a fantastic place.

"My 15-year-old granddaughter goes also as she has lots of problems with her health. They are really helping her.

"The staff are always around to help, guide you and have a laugh."

Former Daventry Mayor Lynne Taylor chose the centre as her charity during her year in office.

She said: "I was the founder trustee of Reach for Health and regularly visit them at their fabulous new centre.

"As a Daventry Town Council Ward Councillor for the area, I appreciate that the state of the car park is very poor and causing issues inside and out. I understand that there will be a temporary surface laid very soon.

"Meanwhile the users are still benefiting from the consistent care and compassion from Reach for Health’s wonderful staff."

You don't have to be referred to enjoy the facilities. For more information telephone (01327) 871118,visit https://www.reachforhealth.co.uk/ or email [email protected]

The centre needs more volunteers, particularly help with fundraising.

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