Fred Hooker

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Support group has been a lifeline for people with respiratory conditions in Barrow and Ulverston

Carry on Breathing has been running in Barrow and Ulverston for around three years and offers support for people with respiratory conditions including, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, heart failure and cancer.

Fred Hooker, 76, of Askham, was diagnosed with COPD two years ago and he joined the Ulverston group in December 2018.

Fred, a former graphic designer, said: “After I was diagnosed with COPD I found that there was no advice or support to help me manage my condition.

“This support group really has been a lifeline and it has opened all of the doors for me. It has introduced me to First Step (a service which provides free, talking therapies to adults in Cumbria), the pulmonary nurse in Dalton, as well as introducing me to other people with the same or similar conditions.

“Carry on Breathing has made me feel more confident about being on the planet. Before I joined the group I couldn’t even walk up the stairs. Not because I couldn’t but because I was frightened too. I feel so much more confident managing my condition and exacerbations.”

Carry on Breathing was set up by Harry Brunskill, of Ulverston, who suffers from mild COPD and bronchiectasis. The charitable cause is funded by grants, which pay for running costs and activities such as chair yoga and singing workshops.

Harry Brunskill, who heads Clean Air Ulverston and is the secretary for Carry on Breathing, said: “The group is an important opportunity for people with similar problems to come together, talk and gain support that they may not have access to.

“The group offers socialisation for people as well as saves money for the health service.”

Sessions take place at The Living Well Centre on Duke Street from 1.30pm to 3pm on the first Wednesday in the month and at Ulverston Health Centre from 2pm to 4pm on the third Wednesday in the month.

If you are working within the health and care sector and would like to give a talk or you are suffering from a respiratory condition and would like to come along please contact Harry on 07709270007.

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