When you call us for support, we take the time to understand your specific needs, so we can tailor the support we offer you – empowering you to live happier and healthier.
But we simply wouldn’t be able to offer our vast range of services without your regular donations – so thank you to all of you who donate to us.
Just one of the services we offer is digital physiotherapy.
Our Physiotherapists and Exercise Therapists provide 1:1 digital support for individuals who may need help following an injury or illness.
Using our video consultation platform, we work with you to understand your needs and how we can support you. We then develop a personalised rehabilitation programme, which can also be accessed via an app.
For some, a stay at one of our three centres may then follow, if we feel it would benefit you. And two people who experienced that are Paul and Sue Fisher – who say they noticed huge improvements, both from home and at Jubilee House, our centre in Cumbria.
Paul, 73, a retired firefighter from Staffordshire and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Services, who now volunteers in the Ceremonial Squad, had always fundraised for us as well as regularly donating. However, he never needed our support until recently.
“I’ve always been reasonably active, then I played golf with my son one day in February and came home with an aching back, “says Paul. “By the next day, I couldn’t move.
“I later found out it was a prolapsed disc and, to make matters worse, I also discovered around the same time that I had cancer of the vocal chord. I was at a real low.
“It was just by chance I was chatting to someone at headquarters around that time, within the retired welfare network, and he said, ‘why don’t you give the Charity a call’. I thought, ‘I’ll give it a try’. It’s the best thing I ever did!
“The support I’ve had since then has mainly been with my back and mobility, as that was impacting my life so much. It was a nightmare, especially because I was so used to be active.”
Paul was offered a series of video calls with one of our physiotherapists.
“She did a video assessment and sent me a programme of exercises to do at home,” says Paul. “When I started doing them, I was in so much pain and couldn’t do much. She told me to persevere and do one of each exercise every other day. I did it and within two weeks I was pretty mobile again and the pain had subsided considerably.
“The next time we had the video call, I happened to mention that my wife Sue suffered badly with arthritis. She said, ‘well your wife is eligible for support too’. I’d known she was, but I didn’t realise how far that reached…”
Sue was put in touch with a separate physiotherapist and was given her own programme of exercises, tailored specifically for her.
“Mine was brilliant, but Sue’s was a miracle,” says Paul. “She’d been suffering for 10 years with her right shoulder and the whole right-hand side really, to the point doctors were telling her to stay on painkillers and attributing it to old age.
“After the assessment, the physiotherapist was able to tell her that her shoulder was tendons, her elbow was tennis elbow and her wrist was arthritis!
“After being given the 10 exercises, not using any apparatus – just ones she could do at home – she noticed an improvement within three days. And within a week, she wasn’t taking any painkillers at all.
“Both of us were so amazed and grateful, and it happened in a very short period of time.”
As Sue’s programme progressed, we suggested she visit Jubilee House for a week’s rehabilitation, with Paul too.
“It was ideal because I don’t love driving,” says Sue. “We both had our own exercise programmes, but we could be together all the time, just working independently on those.
“I was really frightened about going at first to be honest. I’ve never been in a gym. At 71 years of age, you become anxious anyway and the thought of someone trying to put me on a piece of equipment in a gym was horrific.
“But within seconds of speaking to them, I was completely relaxed. And I mean in seconds! They were so kind and considerate.”
Sue and Paul had one-to-one time with our Physiotherapists and Exercise Therapists, as well as group sessions on everything from pain management to nutrition.
“I really enjoyed mixing with different people with different ailments too, and them being so patient with us! Our group was a lot younger that week, but they were so patient,” says Sue.
Paul is now hoping to spread the word about the importance of donating to us, having seen the difference it makes.
“It’s so difficult to get through to a lot of firefighters the benefits and what’s available,” adds Paul. “They’ll always support charities, but it’s about making them understand that this is there for them, and could help them massively one day.
“Unless you’re suffering, people don’t tend to look at the Charity and think what it could do for them.
“In the past, I never realised physiotherapy could stop pain – and I’m so grateful that it does! It’s all thanks to donations and fundraising, throughout your career and after.
“Life’s really good at the moment. And that’s all down to the Charity, for both of us. We can’t thank you enough. We’ll be looking at any way we can fundraise now going forwards.”
We couldn’t help people like Paul and Sue without your support. Donate now to ensure we can be there for you and your colleagues when you’re most in need:
You can share your experiences of how we’ve helped you in our Share Your Story Group in MyFFC. Register now and find it in the ‘Groups’ tab at the top of the MyFFC homepage.