STaRS Programme

*******      COVID 19     *******
Following guidance from the UK government and Public Health England, all STarS groups are suspended until further guidance is provided.  Currently STARS session April to July 2020 sessions have been cancelled.
“I am really sorry to cancel these sessions and hopefully we can resume soon.  In the meantime, please see two excellent links to online exercises below to keep you going at home.”  With best wishes Trish Sampson.
*******     EXERCISE VIDEOS    *******
The MS Trust has produced some excellent exercise videos:
*******     STARS PROGRAMME    ******
The STaRS programme is specifically for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  It is suitable for all abilities ranging from individuals who can walk independently to individuals confined to a wheelchair.  During STaRS you will be provided with information on types of exercise appropriate for you, help to perform the exercises and the encouragement that you get with being part of a group where people have similar challenges.

STaRS is a 12 week programme of rehabilitation through targeted exercise. The exercises are performed within a group setting and are led by a HCPC registered physiotherapist. People are allocated into different groups according to walking ability:

  • Group A – Individuals walking independently with or without 1 stick.
  • Group B – Individuals requiring 2 sticks or a rollator to walk.
  • Group C – Individuals confined to a wheelchair.

The STaRS programme is run over 12 weeks. In the first week a full physiotherapy assessment is undertaken prior to commencing the programme. During the assessment, individual weaknesses or problem areas can be highlighted, clinical measures taken and the individual’s aims and expectations of the programme be agreed on.   After the assessment there are 10 weeks of rehabilitation/exercises where specific exercises are provided to each individual to be completed in the group. The exercise intensity is tailored for each individual. During the last week, week 12, a final physiotherapy assessment is undertaken.

The key aims of STARS are:

  1. Increase exercise levels
  2. Improve knowledge or value of exercise and safe exercises to perform
  3. Meet others with MS who have similar movement challenges
  4. Reduce fatigue and the impact of MS
  5. Improve strength
  6. In Group A and B to improve gait (walking)
  7. In Group C to improve trunk control and arm strength/control
  8. Have some FUN.

What will you do in each group?

Group A – Individuals walking independently with or without 1 stick. The main emphasis in this group is on improving strength which will aid walking and balance.   Small weights are used for some exercises to increase muscle strength. The aim in this group is also to improve fitness levels and get your heart rate up. This group is limited to 10-12 people.

Group B – Individuals requiring 2 sticks or a rollator to walk. The main emphasis is on balance which will improve walking and reduce falls. Balance challenging exercises are included together with some strengthening exercises.   This group is limited to 8-10 people.

Group C – Individuals confined to a wheelchair. The emphasis here is on improving arm/hand and trunk (core) strength to be able to perform functional tasks such as reaching forward for an object off a table, picking up a coin off a table. Where appropriate stretching and passive movement are added and we use the medimoto for leg movement. There are two wheelchair groups, maximum size is 3-4 per group due to the need for more individual interaction with the therapist or assistant.

STaRS programmes – Southampton and District Branch
The STaRS programme has been running since January 2015 with the Southampton and District Branch of the MS Society.  This Branch funds STaRS sessions for people with MS living in the area: Bishop’s Waltham and Fair Oak to Lyndhurst, Totton, Romsey and Ampfield to Eastleigh, Bassett, Portswood, Hedge End, Weston to Bitterne and Shirley.

Post codes included are:    SO14; SO15; SO16; SO17; SO18; SO19; SO30; SO31; SO32; SO40; SO50; SO51; SO52; SO53

There are three STaRS programmes for Southampton in 2020.

  • 8 January to 11 March 2020
  • 29 April to 1 July 2020 (Cancelled due to COVID 19)
  • 16 September to 18 November 2020 

Each session occurs weekly on a Wednesday and lasts for one hour.

  • Group B is from 11:00-12:00,
  • Group C  split into (12:10 – 13:10) or  (12:45-13:45)  and
  • Group A is from 2-3pm.

All sessions are held at the Chilworth Hall, SO16 7LD.

Find more information for people living in the Southampton and District Branch area