The Project Restart long COVID rehabilitation and prevention programme is a unique, 12-week wellbeing programme from Middlesbrough Council and South Tees Public Health.
It’s specially designed for people who are still suffering the after-effects of coronavirus (COVID-19), even if it’s a long time since they had the virus. This is often known as ‘long COVID‘.
These after-effects can include:
- chronic fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- aching muscles
- brain fog (for example, difficulty thinking, staying focussed, or remembering things)
The programme is also for people who might be at higher risk of getting coronavirus, and who might not recover as well. This includes people with:
- a BMI over 40
- coronary heart disease
- limited mobility
How will I be supported?
On day one, you’ll be met by our specialist team. They’ll help you with any concerns you have following lockdown.
If you need extra help, they can also find the right service to support you. This might include help with:
- employment or money
- quitting smoking
- exercise and/or wellbeing
- LGBTQIA issues
- sexual health
At the first face-to-face session:
- We’ll do a full assessment of your health, so we know where you’re starting from. We’ll let you know how to access the online materials, as well as giving coaching tips on the practical session.
- We’ll give you a tailored exercise programme. This can either be accessed online, or we can give you a hard copy of the session.
Your assigned mentor will call you for regular support and to review your progress every week. They’ll talk to you about the best way to increase your daily activity levels, and also discuss any concerns or problems you have.
Remember, physical activity does not have to mean going to the gym – there’s lots you can do at home, in the garden, or on the beach!
Do I have to come in to the Live Well Centre to take part?
Ideally sessions number 1, 6, and 12, as well as potentially session number 8, should be completed face-to-face. We have late-night sessions if you’re at work or have other commitments during the day.
If you’re worried or you cannot attend the face-to-face sessions, you can complete the programme remotely (online), as long as you have a way of getting online. We can also teach you how to find the online content.
Is this just another exercise programme?
No. The exercises have been chosen with ‘long COVID’ recovery in mind. The programme includes chest-opening exercises which focus on breathing, and a range of movement to improve respiration (breathing). It also includes regular checks on your progress. Our staff are experienced at running these kind of programmes, as well as SMART goal setting.
Will I have to pay?
No, the sessions during the 12-week period are free of charge. You’ll also be able to take part in a range of other sessions, like tai chi, pilates, and chair-based and aerobic-based exercise sessions.
Who can participate?
The programme is for people recovering from coronavirus who may have ongoing ‘long COVID’ symptoms like chronic fatigue (extreme tiredness) and breathlessness. It’s also for people who are at higher risk of getting coronavirus, and who have conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and a BMI of over 40.
Currently, people who are classed as ‘clinically vulnerable‘ may not be able to take part in this programme. Those who are not classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ can take part.
Can I refer somebody else to the programme?
Yes. If you’re a social prescriber or a health professional, please choose this option on the application form.
How do I get started?
First, you’ll need to fill in the coronavirus-specific questionnaire and medical questionnaire (DOCX). You’ll need to get it back to us, either by:
- emailing the form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- dropping the form off at the Live Well Centre (inside Dundas Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 1HR)
- sending the form by post to: Live Well Centre, Dundas House, Dundas Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 1HR
If you’re struggling with filling in the form, you can call us on 01642 727580 and ask to speak to someone from the Restart Team, who will help you to fill in the form over the phone.
We’ll use the information in your form to decide whether you can take part in the programme. Once we’ve got your form, a member of the Restart Team will contact you within 5 working days to discuss what happens next.
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All your information will be kept strictly confidential and we will not share it with anyone without asking your permission first. For more information about how Middlesbrough Council collects, uses, and stores your information, visit the data protection page on the Middlesbrough Council website.