“Hello Trish,   I was on your STARS course a couple of years ago, and I’m still getting the benefits.  I’m dropping you a line today after seeing the headline ‘Six million adults fail to walk briskly for 10 minutes each month. The report said a quarter of the English population is “inactive”.’ Not me. I still start the day with a routine of sit-to-stands etc that we did at STARS, and I’ve been doing the six-minute walk that I learnt from you every morning since, whatever the weather. I set my phone timer for 6 mins, walk as briskly as poss to the bus stop and back, and return just as it beeps. It’s a really good feeling.   And every morning I’m grateful that I still can, nearly 30 years after being diagnosed with MS.   Thanks for the legacy that’s helping me to stay active.”   Gill from Southampton (Group A – 24/08/2017)

“This was the first time I’d met other people with MS and the friendship and support and understanding I experienced from being part of this exercise group was very special. To be honest it was a shock to discover how many physical problems I have, with balance and strength and stiffness but the exercises give a sense of doing something positive to maintain and regain fitness. The exercises are gentle yet demanding, really well designed to target weak muscles. The best bit is the cup of tea and chat at the end!”
Kerry from Shirley (Independent walker – Group A, employed)

 “Having enjoyed and benefitted from my first STaRS programme, I have now embarked on my second. We are in a group of similar abilities and the exercises are tailored to our own needs. I have found that I am able to exercise more than I thought I could. And though I am really tired at the end of the sessions, I feel the benefit the next day as my general movement and balance are improved. The relaxed and friendly sessions are run by Trish   who, with the help of Donna, give us all the help and attention we need. I would certainly recommend the course to anyone.”
Marilyn from Southampton (Uses two sticks – Group B)

 “I like going as the people are nice and friendly. It really helps me with my balance and my core muscles. I like doing the ball work and think this class is also a lot of fun.”
Mandy from Southampton (Wheelchair user – Group C)

“I feel privileged to be part of the STaRS programme  within  Southampton  as I get to see the improvements in people  from start to finish. After just  a few weeks they start to feel much better be it stronger, fitter or less wobbly. Trish knows so much about MS and which exercise will help. If someone  moves in a way that could potentially  harm them she will come over and correct their posture even when she appears to be working with someone else (eyes in the back of her head comes to mind, she doesn’t miss a thing!). There is always a fantastic atmosphere with exercise, talking and laughter.”
Donna from Southampton and District Branch of MS Society (assists with the sessions)

“I have been living MS for ten years with the deterioration in my health hardly noticeable. After experiencing a relapse at the beginning of this year I was not able to walk and had lost all strength in my whole body when I was finally discharged from hospital.
The STaRS session have given me back my confidence in walking unaided amongst people without losing my balance, I have built up muscular strength, especially core strength and get fatigued less frequently. Everyday chores are not so frightening any more, I will now not shy away from them because I feel I will not have the stamina to carry on with them.
I feel confident that the next sessions of STaRS in September 2015 will get me back to where I was prior to the relapse.
It was due to my involvement with STaRS and the improvement shown that I was able to  carry on as Chair of the the Southampton and District Branch.”
Renate, chair of Southampton and District Branch of MS Society (Independent walker – Group A)