Caroline's story

Image of Liveability client Caroline

Liveability client, Caroline is a fitter, happier woman

A year with Livewell has transformed Caroline Jane’s life.  Her radiant smile and energetic bounce are evidence of the happier and fitter woman Caroline has become when her advisor, Mark Dolman surprised her with the March award certificate at Derby Arena last month.

Before joining Liveability – Livewell’s free weight management programme for people with learning and other disabilities – Caroline barely moved, slept most of the day and admitted she ate the wrong foods, skipped meals and snacked on sweets. 

Caroline’s Body Mass Index was in the obese category placing extra pressure on her joints and causing her knees to hurt.  She also suffers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, type 2 diabetes and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes which can damage the back of the eye).

12 months on, Caroline has lost more than two stone (17% of her body weight) and is feeling much healthier, thanks to the support she’s received from Mark who works with clients and their carers to develop a flexible plan of healthy eating and physical activity.

Participants and carers receive 12 months of individual support like Caroline and have the option to take part in adapted group activities such as seated volleyball, basketball, cricket, rounders, Boccia, healthy picnics and cycling using accessible bikes from Cycle Derby. They also enjoy sociable activities and days out.

Caroline, who is 58 and lives in Spondon, was introduced to the gym by Mark and now enjoys workouts at Derby Arena and Springwood Leisure Centre three times a week with her carer and friend, Kate.  She also eats regular meals, has reduced her intake of foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar and walks most days.  As a result, Caroline’s breathing and type 2 diabetes have improved significantly.

Caroline said:

“I didn’t exercise before, and I’d never tried the gym.  Mark helped me get started and now I love every minute using the treadmill and other equipment with Kate – we have a good giggle. We enjoy walking around the block and going out to the countryside on the bus to walk in Belper and Matlock. 
Since losing weight, my knee pain is better, I’m less breathless, I have more energy and my clothes are looser.  I’m very proud of myself!”

Mark is supported by Livewell advisor, Casey Baxter and the duo are proud of Caroline’s and their other clients’ achievements as Mark explains:

"Caroline has done incredibly well with her eating and activity over the last 12 months.  Leading a healthier lifestyle has helped ease the symptoms of her health conditions and the difference this makes to her quality of life is fantastic to see. She eats more fruit and vegetables and enjoys the variety. With a lot of support and encouragement from her friend Kate, who has taken her on day trips walking in Derbyshire (and a little shopping!), Caroline is able to go to the gym by herself which is great for her independence and confidence.  The best way to describe Caroline now is beaming and smiling all the time!”

To find out more about the Liveability programme including how to register or refer, visit the Livewell website.


Image of client Caroline with Liveability advisor Mark