Free course set to improve ex-pats’ quality of life

Turre EPP Principal: COURSE ORGANISER: Brian, with wife Margaret during his time as Mayor of Highworth.

A FORMER Wiltshire Mayor is running an Expert Patient Programme (EPP), course in Turre.  

The “Making a Difference,” course is designed to help people better manage their own health challenges.  It is free and open to any English-speaking people with long-term chronic health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ME and heart disease.  

Once a BP chartered engineer in Libya, Brian Freeman was elected Mayor of Highworth in 2001.  Sixteen years earlier, he had been diagnosed with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis.  “I first became involved with the EPP in 2004 and it had a hugely positive effect on my life,” said Freeman.  His hospital visits were reduced and he began needing a lot less medication, while his strength, mobility and general well-being all increased.  In 2005, Freeman was awarded NHS accreditation as an EPP tutor.  

The programme was developed at Stamford University, USA and is now run in countries all over the world.  Doctor Manuel Serrano has run an EPP course in Murcia since 2006, and works in conjunction with a team at Southampton University.  The doctor said that patients who use the techniques they have learnt on the course really do achieve a better quality of life.  

The course organised by Brian Freeman and Liz Finlayson, will start on Tuesday May 14 at the Turre Evangelical Church hall.  Every Tuesday for six-week period, patients will learn practical techniques regarding relaxation, fitness, nutrition and better breathing.  They will also learn how to better deal with emotional issues such as anger, fear and depression, make decisions about treatment, and develop personal action plans.

Freeman, who moved to Spain in 2007 with his wife Margaret, invites those interested, to contact him on 950956171 or 674666664.  The couple are dedicated Christians, and Margaret coordinates the Food Bank at the Evangelical church.  However, the course is not at all religious, and Freeman said he is most grateful to the church for providing premises for “Making a Difference.”

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