FEW groups are more important than the ones which help to save and protect lives.
And one such town organisation is the Hartlepool Hearts Coronary Support Group, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year.
There is a great camaraderie. People discuss their activities and hobbies and it goes beyond the group. One of the people I have become friends with was a member of a bowling club and now I am a member as well.David Tyson, Hartlepool Hearts coronary support group
It continues to provide vital help and support to people who have some sort of coronary problem.
One of them is the secretary David Tyson, who suffered from angina attacks. Doctors found he had up to 98 per cent blockage of his arteries.
A triple heart bypass followed and, after his medical treatment was completed, he was referred for six weeks of cardiac rehabilitation sessions.
Once they were over, David wanted to maintain his new-found fitness levels and soon became an integral part of a group which meets every Monday in the Mill House Leisure Centre from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.
It also holds sessions in the Central Library in York Road on the first Thursday in alternate months from 7pm.
Membership now stands at around 40 people and they are all grateful for the support they receive.
David said: “Once a week, we go for exercise sessions in the Mill House and it usually lasts for an hour.
It is done under supervision of a qualified instructor.
We also have bi-monthly meetings at the Central Library where a health professional gives a talk.
“We also arrange day trips a couple of times a year.”
Members do exercises such as bicep curls and hamstring exercises on a circuit basis.
There is no bar on age and David added: “The youngest at the moment is aged about 50 and they go up to people in their mid 80s.
People come and go because they are of that age group where they come until they can no longer manage the exercise, but anyone can come to the social functions.”
One of the best aspects of it all was the social side of it.
“There is a great camaraderie,” he said. “People discuss their activities and hobbies and it goes beyond the group.
“One of the people I have become friends with was a member of a bowling club and now I am a member as well.”
David could only walk around 40 yards before he got into health difficulties, but that was before his bypass and before he joined the group.
Now, he can cover three miles in an hour.
To find out more about the group, contact David on (01429) 281709.