Blackburn with Darwen’s re:fresh team is dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing and active living of people living and working in our Borough. 

Benefits of physical exercise:

  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Improve thinking skills
  • Boost your mood
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce aches and pains
  • Better balance

If you want to improve your physical activity, look at the links below to see what classes and programmes you can get involved with. re:fresh run many sessions throughout the week for all abilities and the timetable can be found here.

Image highlights active living by a man in a blue t-shirt, red cap and khaki trousers walking on a path by the side of a river in a forest. A bridge with a waterfall is in the background with more walkers.

Zoe’s case study on We Are Undefeatable campaign website

“It is fundamentally okay to fail.”

After her stroke, Zoe created her own small exercises to start rebuilding her strength and mobility.

Zoe’s stroke was caused by a complication of an undiagnosed heart condition, and she experienced fatigue and reduced energy levels when she was discharged from hospital. But Zoe is a great believer in the quote “Everything starts with you”. So, she started journaling to help her through the harder days and found support in several community led stroke groups. Today, she’s pleased to be giving back to those groups that helped her so much by showing them the little tips and activities that have helped her recovery.


Zoe started small and began to rebuild her strength and mobility with home exercises like clipping clothes pegs to a glass. She progressed to squeezing her trusty stress ball, and is now back to using a variety of exercise bands and light weights at home. In her experience, Zoe notices that when she isn’t active her left side becomes numb, and says that consistent exercise “played a major part” in enabling her to return to the activities she was doing before her stroke, like driving, going to restaurants with friends, and styling her hair just the way she likes it.


Here are some resources related to Zoe’s story about moving more:

Exercise on Referral

The Exercise Referral Scheme is an exciting exercise programme which your GP, practice nurse or health advisor can recommend for you. This 12 week programme is an opportunity to take part in a range of activities.

Stay Active Outdoors

Making use of our outdoor places can help guard against key health issues such as depression and heart disease. It can also be fun. It can connect people to nature and to each other. It energises and inspires us in our day to day lives. For mental health support, see our pages here.