Knowsley Council commissions the Healthy Knowsley Service, which is provided by Merseycare.
The Healthy Knowsley Service supports Knowsley residents to make small changes to their lifestyle that could result in big differences to their health and wellbeing.
One such resident to access the services was Debi Freeland.
Debi’s life was hectic – she had a partner, a family, dogs and a full-time job. But, in 2022, events took a downturn and Debi, then 58, split with her partner, her son and his girlfriend moved out, and she became a carer for a friend and an elderly uncle.
Debi said “My life spiralled out of control. There was suddenly just me and my dogs at home. Food stopped being a priority and I gained loads of weight. I’d ignored invitations from my GP for a health check and only went because my mum and aunt had died of heart failure, and I was worried I might have undetected problems.”
Debi was eventually paired up with Healthy Knowsley’s Wellbeing Coach Rebecca, who helped her set small targets. She regained control over her life, including losing more than four stones.
Debi added “Rebecca’s phone calls kept me going, we built up such a good relationship. What I loved most was how the conversation wouldn’t be about my weight loss, it was about how I was doing in myself. I’d offload and she’d listen. I never felt pressure, it was about me the person.”
“One day things didn’t go well, and I ate the contents of my fridge. In the past that would have been my cue to give up, but Rebecca had helped me to think of it as a hiccup.”
This year Debi reduced her working hours and devotes more time to her caring role. She took up an offer of a free gym membership (through the support she was receiving from the Healthy Knowsley Service) and she now hula hoops!
Spurred on by her newfound confidence, Debi has just completed a sky dive, raising £400 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
“I never thought at 59 I could look and feel this good” says Debi. “The girl I used to be is gone – and she isn’t coming back.”
Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health, added “Debi’s story is so inspiring. I can appreciate how her life changed so dramatically and what impact this must have had on her. But, Debi made the first step and contacted the Healthy Knowsley Service which turned out to be one of the best decisions she made. Well done Debi. You are a true inspiration.”
If Debi’s story has inspired you, contact the Healthy Knowsley Service today.
Call the Healthy Knowsley Service on free phone 0800 0731 202 or you can talk to your GP or health care professional who can make a referral on your behalf.
Once a referral is received, a wellbeing advisor from the Lifestyle Hub will contact you by telephone to discuss the options available help you to achieve your goals and provide information and the services that can support your needs which includes a wellbeing coach.
Note – Debi’s story was originally featured in Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, MC Magazine. Photo Credit – Mersey Care: Joel Goodman.