LED Community Leisure pride ourselves on providing a safe and supportive community hub for everyone of all ages and abilities. To help you make the first step, we want to profile members of our team in a new 'Meet the Team' feature. We start with Tracey Paddon, health referral lead at Ottery St Mary Leisure Centre.
Tracey Paddon has worked for LED Community Leisure for 21 years. Tracey first started working on reception before qualifying as a Group Exercise Instructor, Personal Trainer and now health referral lead.
As LED's health referral lead for Ottery St Mary, Tracey helps members of the community get back to health and fitness after illness or injury.
"I enjoy seeing people flourish. Even somebody who has never done exercise in their life can feel better about themselves and gain confidence" she said.
Tracey works closely with local doctors, nurses and physiotherapists who often refer their patents to her. She then supervises them in the gym, carrying out a full assessment and creating a tailor-made programme depending on their level of health and fitness.
She said: "We mainly work with GPs, physios, the team at Heavitree hospital for Phase 4 Cardiac Rehab and Force for Cancer rehab. I tend to keep people who need more help, such as people who have had strokes or brain injuries, on Pulse classes at Ottery whilst those who are ready to move on are recommended to join on-going supervised sessions at Honiton Leisure Centre."
"It's not all about working out in the gym, it's about helping people to do what they are able to do. I help people carry on with their every day lives, to get out of a chair, to go on longer walks or to work on their strength and balance."
Tracey highlighted a particular member who came to her after suffering a stroke. From the start this member needed quite a lot of help to get on and off the stationary bike during her weekly session. In time, and with a lot of support from Tracey, her confidence grew as she began to attend 2 to 3 times a week and she was able to get on and off the stationary bike without assistance. She now comes to the gym completely independently, attends Pilates classes as well and has returned to work as a hairdresser.
Tracey recommends any readers who feel like they could benefit from extra support through LED health referral schemes to get in touch with their local GP. "The sessions are closed to the public and I am always here to support them. Start with really small steps to get really big results over a long timeframe."
"People think coming to the gym is full of really fit people running really fast on the treadmill next to them, which it can be, but during these sessions here we don't have people like that in the gym. It's just the people who have been referred, to help people get in, get going and get started!"
As well as her role as health referral lead, Tracey continues to offer classes such as Pilates and sees a small number of Personal Training clients too. To find out more about LED health referral schemes please click the link below or call 01404 42325 to speak to a member of our customer service team.