CW+ and English National Ballet School launch new programme for HIV patients at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

CW+ has partnered with English National Ballet School (ENBS) to launch a new programme of activity for the Kobler Rehabilitation Class, which provides group rehabilitation for HIV patients at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

As part of the programme, ENBS has created a series of exercise videos so that patients can practise gentle and moderate exercises (standing up or sitting) to aid mobility and strength. ENBS has also been delivering in-person classes to introduce participants to the content of the videos, which have been designed specifically for the group to use during their new weekly sessions in the charity’s CW+ Studio as well as remotely. The classes are also an important opportunity for the group to socialise and connect with other HIV-positive members of the community.

This CW+ and ENBS collaboration forms part of the pioneering CW+ Arts in Health Programme, which focuses on the link between human health and the environment, building on the robust body of evidence that outstanding design and engagement with the arts can improve physical and mental wellbeing. The Arts in Health Programme also supports different groups of individuals by facilitating a variety of rehabilitation and arts education at the Trust.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has one of the largest and busiest HIV and sexual health services in Europe, delivering world-class care and outcomes for more than 200,000 patients a year. The new programme for the Kobler Rehabilitation Class builds on many years of support for the service by CW+.

Commenting on one of the in-person sessions with ENBS, Taz from the Rehabilitation Class, said: ‘It brought me alive! I was ecstatic, it made me forget how old I am.’

Cleo Dobson, Physiotherapist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘Working with ENBS is a hugely exciting opportunity for the Rehabilitation Class. The project brings together art and exercise, which is proving to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.’

Christina Peumalu, Head of Participation at CW+, said: ‘We are thrilled to be working with HIV Services and the Rehabilitation Class in this exciting new initiative to support the wellbeing of people living with HIV. A special thank you to ENBS for their ongoing support, and especially for creating the exercise videos and bringing them to life in the studio. The new programme will have far-reaching health and social benefits for participants, encouraging them to stay well in their communities.’

Viviana Durante, Artistic Director at ENBS, said: ‘ENBS is delighted to be working alongside CW+ to deliver these vital workshops. Ballet is for everyone, no matter what your ability or age, and these workshops will provide unique movement classes for patients, improving their health and wellbeing.’

Based in Chelsea, ENBS is a full-time vocational dance school that prepares the finest young dancers from around the world for a lifetime of achievement, providing world-class training, education, pastoral care, and performance opportunities.

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