Anne: “Your Tai Chi sessions have really helped me in retirement – physically and mentally”

Anne Daultrey has always been very proactive when it comes to health and fitness after retirement, but she says she needed a helping hand after some surgery – and thanks to your donations, we were able to support her.

Taking care of your health and wellbeing after retirement is incredibly important – and something Anne Daultrey has always prioritised.

So when she faced a lengthy recovery from surgery, she knew she needed a helping hand to get back to her usual fitness as soon as possible.

Anne, who’s married to retired LFB firefighter Colin, was offered a stay at Harcombe House, our centre in Devon, which she says helped her recovery hugely. Since then, she’s taken part in a series of Tai Chi sessions we’ve hosted as part of our Living Well Groups, and she says they’ve helped her both physically and mentally.

“Colin always donated to you out of his salary, but other than that we didn’t know a lot about the support available – and I wish I had, because we’re the kind of people who like to give a bit back,” says Anne, 68.

“I was extremely fortunate when it mattered, however. I joined my local Living Well Group when it first started up and in one of the early meetings, they talked about the support you offer and your three centres across the country.

“Soon after that I was having some gynaecological surgery. One of the things they were very keen you followed up with was some physio, but I know from experience you don’t get a lot through the NHS – I haven’t found it very helpful before.

“I enquired about your support shortly after the surgery – in the February of 2020, before Covid hit. I was offered a week down in Devon and I found it absolutely amazing. It was very holistic, you cover everything.

“There were people there with serious mental health issues, people with knee and hip replacements, then me where you couldn’t see anything but I was falling apart a bit inside!

“They did everything, from maintaining your health, fitness and nutrition to how to help your mental health, even for those who don’t think they need it – but probably do.

“It also gives you a bit of space. Too many people have to be in the middle of everybody all the time, and sometimes you just need to get off on your own. Then while you’re walking, you don’t have to think about anything.”

Anne mainly focused on strengthening her stomach and pelvis muscles while at the centre, with support to ensure she was practicing the right exercises. She then continued them from home, using the Salaso app – which we use to create specific workouts for our beneficiaries.

“I carried on doing them for another nine months and I’m so much fitter than I’ve ever been now,” says Anne. “A lot of people don’t think of doing exercises regularly, but it’s so important to be proactive – especially after retirement.”

Anne has remained part of our Living Well Groups throughout this time, and recently began attending some of our Tai Chi sessions – which she says have been fantastic for her.

“It’s so important that people keep themselves mobile in retirement”

Anne Daultrey

“I did some Tai Chi about 12 or 13 years ago, but everyone teaches it differently so it’s been completely different this time,” she adds.

“When this opportunity came up I couldn’t believe it because I love Tai Chi. I find it amazing to do… some people find it quite difficult because it’s so slow, but while it took me six months to get my head round it all those years ago, I love it.

“One of the biggest things I take away from it is having patience, which is a big life lesson. I’ve always been one of these people who says ‘I’ll do it now’ – but with Tai Chi you can’t. It really helps your physically and mentally, and the sessions here have been brilliant.”

Anne suffers with pain in her elbows, so says Tai Chi is perfect for her in the future too.

“There’s very few forms of exercises available to me and Tai Chi is one. You can even do it seated if you can’t use your legs. It’s so important that people keep themselves mobile,” says Anne.

You can find out more about our Living Well Groups here.

If you’re struggling with your health and wellbeing, we may be able to help you. Call our Support Line on 0800 389 8820, make an enquiry online or register for MyFFC now and visit the ‘Access Support’ tab at the top of the MyFFC homepage.

You can also join our ‘Share Your Story’ Group in MyFFC, by clicking on the ‘Groups’ tab, to chat to others who have received our support or enquire about sharing your own story.