Residents have praised an exercise programme aimed at supporting those with medical conditions to be active and connected.

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure's (ERCL) Vitality programme "grew by 40% in 2023, with more than 7000 attendances and 200 new participants" over the year.

The exercise classes have been specifically designed to be suitable for people living with medical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, cardiac conditions, and more.

They offer gentle exercise with four different levels, depending on ability, and all classes work to improve strength, balance and overall fitness. 

Participant Elaine Greeves, who joined in January 2023, said: "It's just completely turned my life around.

“I had terrible problems with my hip and my knee on the right side and when I went to the GP they referred me to the Vitality class and a weight loss programme.

“I've been coming to the weekly classes at Eastwood Park Leisure, and sometimes Clarkston Hall and since January. I've lost four stone in weight.

“I can do squats now, I've made new friends at the classes and I feel great.

"If I can do it, anyone can do it."

The weekly classes take place in Clarkston, Eastwood and Barrhead.

Another participant, Peter Phrase joined the sessions after having a heart attack in 2019.

For him, the benefit of coming along, “even with a condition but certainly as you’re older”, is you do vigorous exercise at a reasonably high level in a sustained way for two hours a week and then you supplement that with healthy eating, walking and cycling.

"It's an organised system and everyone is participating, it's disciplined and organised,” he added.

“The staff are really good at what they do and they look after you."

A third participant, Gillian Wilson who has been coming to Vitality classes for six years, said she too would recommend the sessions to anyone who has an issue or may be worried about coming along to an exercise class.

“No one is made to feel out of place and you do it at your own pace," explained Gillian.

"It brings your mood up and you feel as though you're doing something for yourself and your own health.” 

The classes are delivered by ERCL's active health and wellbeing team, which is made up of "highly skilled and qualified instructors" who work with each participant to ensure the correct class is recommended.

The Vitality programme also includes a new Parkinson's class, which is specifically designed for people with the condition who are newly diagnosed or who have mild symptoms.

To get involved in the programme contact Vitality co-ordinator Pamela Nesbitt by email at

To find out more click HERE