About the Westbank Exercise after Stroke programme

We launched our Westbank Exercise after Stroke programme at the beginning of 2020. 

We follow the programme developed by national experts in stroke research, clinical and exercise science practice. The STARTER research of 2007 informs the programme, which is tailored to the diverse range of functional impairments experienced by stroke survivors [1]. All approaches are aligned with the 2010 Exercise After Stroke Guidelines. 

Our structured programme consists of a circuit-based specific group exercise that aims to strengthen areas of weakness. These consist of lower body exercises such as sit to stand, high knee marching, and upper body exercises using an exercise band that target the chest and upper back muscles.

The exercises selected make activities that are part of daily living easier. For example, raising from a chair, walking, pushing and pulling movements. Also, the exercises are adaptable in many ways to accommodate stroke-related impairments.

While GOV restrictions are in place, each participant will do the same exercises simultaneously; as restrictions are eased, parts of the session will involve participants moving between stations to different exercises.

Meet our rehabilitation team

Our team of dedicated professionals are committed to empowering people to move more, increase confidence, and maintain independence. 

This programme is delivered by Helen Gibbings, our Level 4 Exercise after Stroke specialist instructor, who has over three years of experience.

Programme pathway

21 sessions over 10 weeks

  1. Receipt of referral from medical professional/self-referral form
  2. Induction 1:1 (30minutes): with the participant to review health status, suitability and take blood pressure
  3. Session 1 (60minutes): Introduction to the course and simple fitness test
  4. Sessions 2 to 19 (60minutes): Progressive group exercise programme
  5. Final session (60minutes): Exit fitness assessment and signposting on ways to continue exercising, including the option to continue accessing our follow-on exercise classes, gym sessions and online platform


We ask all participants to:

  • Commit to attending the full 10 week (21 sessions) programme
  • To engage with the process of gradual, incremental improvement
  • To share feedback and ask questions throughout the programme
  • Not to exercise beyond their levels of fitness, taking into account their medical status, disability or injury

Our rehabilitation team will commit to:

  • Offering a regression/progression-based programme of exercise to enable us to tailor participants exercise according to their needs and abilities
  • Helping participants to manage their exercise intensity and volume to maximise the benefits of exercise while also maximising safety
  • Ensuring that our team are suitably qualified to deliver population-specific exercise interventions
  • Supplying a specific home exercise booklet

Online support:

  • Exercise and nutrition tracker and group-specific online community area to allow idea sharing and peer support


£4 a session (10-week programme/20 sessions plus induction). 

£80 paid in full at the induction assessment. A payment plan is available; please speak to the team to discuss options.


Westbank, Farm House Rise, Exminster, EX6 8AT

Facilities include free parking, changing facilities, showers and refreshments.*

*Inline with government guidelines, our changing facilities, showers and community café are currently closed.

Inclusion criteria

  • Stroke survivor who can rise from a chair and can walk 10m independently (with use of walking aids if required)
  • 18 years and over
  • Ability to access the programme independently or with support from a carer

Exclusion Criteria

  • Unstable angina
  • Systolic blood pressure >180 and/or diastolic blood pressure >100
  • BP drop >20mmHG demonstrated during ETT
  • Resting tachycardia >100bpm
  • Uncontrolled atrial or ventricular arrhythmias
  • Unstable or acute heart failure
  • Unstable diabetes
  • Febrile illness
  • Any rapidly progressing terminal illness
  • Experience pain, dizziness or excessive breathlessness during exertion
  • Symptomatic severe aortic stenosis
  • Acute pulmonary embolus or pulmonary infarction
  • Suspected or known dissecting aneurysm
  • Any unstable, or uncontrolled condition
  • Acute or uncontrolled psychiatric condition
  • Acute myocarditis or pericarditis
  • A recent significant change in a resting ECG, myocardial infarction within the last 12 months or any acute cardiac event.
  • Not Compliant with prescribed medication
  • Unable to communicate and/ or behave appropriately enough to participate in a group setting
  • Unable or unwilling to commit to the full programme

How to refer

Medical professionals can refer via our referral form or for more information or to receive a referral form please email [email protected] 

Individuals can join the programme by contacting the team on t: 01392 824752 or e: [email protected] 

Following the programme

Upon completing the Exercise after Stroke Rehabilitation programme, our instructor will suggest which of our other exercise programmes could be suitable. All suggestions made are based on the capability and circumstances of the individual.

In some circumstances, exercise options could include:

  • Better balance class, induction to the gym and a gym programme, personal training

"My husband, aged 82, had a stroke three years ago; he was very much in need of some supervised exercise. He didn’t get on too well with big classes, so the Westbank class proved excellent. Helen’s instruction was clear and simple to follow. We felt it was a great benefit to him, not only for exercise but also seeing others who’d had a stroke and how they dealt with any disability." Penny


[1]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17537090/ http://www.exerciseafterstroke.org.uk/

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