AFTER major heart surgery Ann Davey was low in confidence and barely able to walk the short distance to her doctor’s surgery.
Six months later she ventured into Age UK Leeds and picked up a leaflet about walking for health.
For the 69-year-old it was life-changing. Now she is a regular on their weekly health walks and has even joined their other groups from cooking to creative arts.
These are just the kind of important activities you could help support by taking part in the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash 2016 - and make a major difference to the lives of people like Ann.
She said: “It took me a few attempts before I made it through the door to attend a walk. I made it to the front door and turned around two or three times, but then finally told myself to do it, and joined my first walk, and the rest is history.”
She added: “Lots of things have now improved, I feel different, more alive than even before.”
It was two years ago Ann spent 18 hours in theatre and 6 weeks in intensive care followed by two weeks on a cardiac ward.
With the walking group, for the first few months she joined the ‘strollers’ at a gentle pace over a short distance.
Her walking has since improved tremendously and she also now walks near her home.
She also enjoys the social aspect of the group.
She said: “It’s such a friendly group, I enjoy meeting new people and hearing about their lives.”
Money raised from the YEP-backed Abbey Dash on November 6 will go towards supporting vulnerable older people.
Lisa Burnett, fundraising director at Age UK Leeds, said: “The amazing fundraising efforts of all those who take part in events such as the Leeds Abbey Dash make it possible for us to provide crucial support to people like Ann by offering activities such as the walking group, which is a really popular and sociable way to keep fit and healthy in later life.
“These services are absolutely key to helping many older people maintain their health and independence.”
To help support Age UK and older people like Ann, please sign up to the Leeds Abbey Dash today at www.ageuk.org.uk/dash.
How money raised could help
£5 could help Age UK answer the phone to a vulnerable older person on their advice line
£10 could help campaign for older people’s rights for equal and fair treatment
£20 could pay for one month’s worth of regular friendship calls to a lonely older person.