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Wetherby woman’s social boost thanks to charity events after back surgery

A lady from Wetherby who had to give up social swimming sessions from surgery has hailed the impact a charity activity programme has had on her life.

Joan Parkin started going to Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) activities for the first time after the pandemic when a complex operation on her back meant she was unable to take part in regular group swimming lessons which had formed a crucial part of her social calendar.

Now Joan is fully immersed in the charity’s varied programme of activities and events, which she says have helped her to forge new friendships. Joan said: “I had a very complex back surgery, which involved screws and plates. Prior to that I used to go swimming socially and had group lessons. But after my operation, it was advised that I didn’t swim as some of the strokes wouldn’t be beneficial. I was sad about that, as I liked seeing friends. “My daughter recommended I contact WiSE, but I was worried it was for elderly people and I do not feel elderly. I saw that there was a line dancing class so I phoned up for more information. I really enjoyed it and I go every Friday now. “I also attend Move & Groove – a dance-based exercise class - with Kat from Funky Jives. It is brilliant because it feels like a physical workout. Kat’s choreography is spot on and I love the music. I also go to WiSE’s fundraising events, I went to the Elvis tribute act Memphis Pete and Abba tribute - we danced our socks off! “WiSE activities are great as they have something for everyone and you can choose what you’re interested in. I love getting out and getting some exercise – it’s not like going for a walk on your own, it’s much more uplifting. “We moved to Wetherby around 10 years ago and did not have many friends in the area. Thanks to these classes I’ve made some really good friends, and we often go for coffee and lunch afterwards. It’s a really friendly crowd and I like that we all laugh together.

“My advice would be that if anyone is thinking of joining in with the charity’s activities, to do so. The classes are very affordable and if you don’t like it then you aren’t forced to go back!” Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) is a registered charity organisation partially funded by Leeds City Council. Its aim is to improve the quality of life for the over 60s by providing community-based activities, information, help and support.

For more information about WiSE activities, visit


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