People living with Parkinson's disease have hailed free weekly classes in Barrhead as a big success.

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure (ERCL) is hosting a 12-week pilot programme at The Foundry, which has been funded by Parkinson's UK Scotland.

The class is specifically aimed at those who have been diagnosed with the progressive brain disorder which causes a range of symptoms, including involuntary shaking, slow movement and stiff muscles.

It supports locals who are managing their diagnosis with physical activity, which can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of the condition.

Barrhead News: Sylvia Campbell, John McInally and Amanda MckaySylvia Campbell, John McInally and Amanda Mckay (Image: Sourced)

Participant John McInally from Cardonald was diagnosed with Parkinson's seven years ago.

He told the Barrhead News: "My daughter heard about the class as she works in Barrhead.

“The exercise really makes a difference and it's a good class, where the instructor doesn't hold back.

"It's a good crowd too and we all know each other now.

“The class supports me in my goals.

"I'd like to see it continue in the future."

Barrhead News: Sylvia with a class participantSylvia with a class participant (Image: Newsquest)

Another participant Sally Clarke added: "It's a brilliant class. I've been coming along since they started.

“The instructor is always really energetic and positive.

“Exercise helps to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's and this is a great, fun way to do it, as well as getting to meet people."

According to Amanda McKay from Parkinson’s UK, having a high-intensity exercise option, which emerging research suggests is beneficial for managing motor symptoms, is great for those with milder symptoms of the disorder for which there is currently no cure.

The charity hopes that the classes can be a “sustainable addition to the Live Active and Vitalty” class programme in future.

Specifically, they aim to improve balance, coordination, movement and fine motor skills, through increased exercise.

Barrhead News: Participants enjoying the class at Barrhead FoundryParticipants enjoying the class at Barrhead Foundry (Image: Sourced)

They are led by expert fitness instructor Sylvia Campbell, who is part of ERCL’s active health and wellbeing instructor team.

"I love being involved in the Parkinson's class," said Sylvia. "As well as having lots of fun, the class helps with prolonging independent mobility, improving gait, strength and balance.

“Physical exercise can help with mood, stress and anxiety and can decrease any pain associated with Parkinson's.

“We focus on amplitude big moves to make daily tasks better with less fatigue.

“The participants all really seem to enjoy coming along and I can see such a difference in their fitness levels since we started."

To find out more about ERCL's Live Active programme click here