A BURNLEY fitness instructor has kept her tai chi class in full health after receiving funding from Lancashire County Council.
Helena Keane, one of only five female level three instructors in the north of England, runs the Lighthouse Tai Chi organisation providing lessons on the basics of tai chi.
To help set up the classes, Helena applied to Help Direct for a Small Sparks grant, a small amount of funding which can be used to kick-start, enhance or inject life into community-based services or activities across East Lancashire.
She has used the money to fund set-up costs, training and publicity and the results have been so dramatic that she is now rolling out tai chi classes across the North-West.
Helena said: “Tai chi helps to improve flexibility, strengthen the joints and promote wellbeing. It’s a gentle way to boost health and a fun way to make new friends.
“The groups I started have benefited from Small Sparks’ help in so many ways. They are healthier, fitter and have made new friends.
“Now they meet in the street, chat about tai chi and feel part of their community.”
Classes have been held in Burnley at Briercliffe Community Centre for a year, with another group soon to be set up at the Vanguard Community Centre.
The group has almost 40 members across a wide age range, from 20 to 70, with several suffering from physical disabilities.
To find out how to join the group, or for more information, contact Helena Keane on 07876 377321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.