Richard lives in Sheffield with his wife and four children and has suffered from depression for 4 years. A debilitating illness, Richard was unable to go out and socialise. Becoming more and more reclusive, Richard put on 8 stone in weight and struggled to take his children to school or even complete a 2-3 minute walk.
Richard’s illness was affecting all areas of his life. With his health deteriorating, he was unable to continue working and in 2013, Richard suffered a heart attack.
"During my illness, I really didn’t bother with anything about myself. My self-appearance; I really couldn’t care less what I looked like. I put weight on, my hair was down to my shoulders, I just wasn’t bothered.
The final straw was suffering a heart attack. After that, I found it hard to get back to exercise, but the SIV Exercise Referral Scheme turned all of that around for me. I’m healthier, more confident and I just feel alive. I used to suffer from panic attacks and anxiety but it has all gone."
Inspired by his own experience, Richard is retraining as a gym instructor to become an SIV Exercise Referral Specialist himself, offering fellow Sheffielders’ a unique insight and perspective to support others on their road to recovery. To find out more about Exercise Referral visit SIV.