A SIX-week gym trial for people living with Multiple Sclerosis has been called a 'success' by a woman who has benefitted from it.

Ten people from around the Hambleton district took part in a partly-council funded trial at the Toning Suite within Northallerton Leisure Centre.

The gym sessions, which had been part-funded by the Communities Inspire grant from North Yorkshire County Council, was said to enable leisure centre staff work individually with the ten members of the group.

Representatives of the Hambleton and Richmondshire Group of The MS Society donated membership costs to help support the trial.

At the sessions, MS sufferers were given tips and advice on how to keep fit despite some physical and mental constraints.

One toning suite trialling-customer, Sarah Parker said she felt anxious before the sessions, but was 'glad' to have attended the sessions and called it a 'success.'

She said: "The Toning Suite staff were very friendly and patient and showed me how to use the power assisted equipment and made adjustments to help me get the most out of them.

"I ached at first but then during the next few weeks I used the Toning Suite around twice a week and soon saw some improvement in the strength of my legs."

The life-long condition, which can affect the brain and spinal cord can cause problems with vision, arm or leg movement as well as additional problems with sensation and balance.

Ms Parker said the trail had been a success as she no longer had to rely on her walking aid.

She said: “My legs are stronger to the point that I hardly ever use my stick anymore, the arthritis pain in my knees and neck has lessened and I can function more easily.

"I am getting out of the house and meeting people which has had a big impact on improving my mental health and making me feel less anxious."

Ms Parker also said she was now able to drive to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for various appointments.

She said: "I have also started driving again – even driving myself to my appointments at hospital. Altogether I have lost over a stone in weight and 12 inches all over. I am grateful to the local group of the MS Society as I wouldn’t have come without their help – I’m glad I made the effort to turn up on that first day.” All ten members were given the option to sign-up to a Toning Suite membership.