Thirty years of Respiratory Relief

The Canterbury Respiratory Relief Society celebrated it’s 30 year anniversary with a lunch at the Cashmere Club last month.

The Society was formed in 1989 by a group of physiotherapists who saw a need for people with lung conditions to undertake gentle exercises and learn how to self-manage their breathing conditions.

The main purpose of the society has been to support people who have breathing conditions such as, Asthma, Emphysema and Bronchitis through group education and gentle exercise.

Originally Christchurch Hospital physiotherapists ran the exercise classes and now they have professionally trained team leaders running them. They have a close association with Canterbury Clinical Network’s (CCN) Community Respiratory Service.

The Society’s classes provided the blueprint for the the community exercise groups, which are supported by the CCN team and volunteers in and around Christchurch.

“By attending the group sessions many of our members have improved their health and been able to reduce their medications, as well as made new friends and participated in more family and social events,” says Respiratory Relief Secretary David Chamberlain.

Members meet twice weekly in two different city locations. Membership is approximately 100, ranging in age from 50 to 96.

CCN Community Respiratory Physiotherapy Coordinator, David Chen, spoke at the celebration and acknowledged the present and past members who have contributed in the last 30 years to make the society the huge success it is today.

David started his physiotherapy career at Christchurch Hospital in 2005 and one of his first roles was to take the Respiratory Relief exercise classes twice a week.

“Over the years you went from respiratory patients to friends and family. We have talked about all sorts of things, including politics and which All Black coaches and under-performing players need to be replaced.”

“For me the success of Respiratory Relief will continue to shine bright, because of the commitment of the members and the committee.

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi - With your basket and my basket the people will live.”

Above photos:
1. Eric Brophy, Pat Neville and Bill Vernall.
2. Pauline McNally, Respiratory Relief President. 
3. Pauline Mohi, Pat Neville, David Chen and respiratory nurse Louise Weatherall reminiscing.
4. David Chen and David Chamberlain. 

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