The campaigning mum who fought to keep children safe from paedophiles has visited Huddersfield.
Sara Payne MBE, the mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne, became known for successfully pressuring the government into changing the law after her 8-year-old daughter was kidnapped and murdered by Roy Whiting in West Sussex in 2000.
Her campaign led to ‘Sarah’s Law’, which allows parents to check if someone with regular unsupervised access to their children has a criminal record for abuse.
Her tragic story escalated after she suffered a brain aneurysm and then in 2010 a huge stroke, which left her paralysed down her left side.
Now a stroke rehabilitation ambassador, she is advocating new exercise equipment made in Huddersfield that helps with recovery.
The machines are available at the newly launched Health Shack in Almondbury, Huddersfield – one of the first places in Kirklees to get the equipment.
The exercise equipment – designed and manufactured by Huddersfield based Shapemaster – differs from conventional gym equipment by being power assisted, meaning people suffering with muscle weakness and debilitating injuries can regain movement in a more controlled way.
Sara said: “A lot of people that have strokes find it’s really difficult to move forward.
“So being strapped to the chair which moves your body in the right way helps them start working in a way they haven’t worked for a long time.
“I hit a plateau in my recovery but I found by doing gentle exercise in assisted manner I got my movement back naturally.“
Charissa Newsome, from Shapemaster, said: “The research we’ve done with stroke sufferers, including Sara, clearly demonstrates the huge benefit our power assisted exercise equipment offers.
“It can treat a wide range of conditions including MS, ME, back pain, scoliosis, motor neurone disease, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries, Parkinsons, muscular dystrophy and polio.”
Health Shack has been launched by Annette Purves, who for the last 14 years has worked in neurology, cardiac rehabilitation and dementia management.
She says the equipment can also help people who are overweight, including those who have hidden “visceral fat” – deep fat that wraps around major internal organs.
We revealed last month only one-in-five applications under Sarah’s Law to West Yorkshire Police were granted.
But Sara said she was still pleased people were getting information that could safeguard their youngsters.
“We always knew there would be a lot more applications than there were disclosures,” she said.
“The point is that the resource is there and I’d like to see more police forces encouraging people to use it.”