Small Steps to Health

Fibro Active

To ensure we maintain excellent quality standards the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Sun Style Short Form Instructors are all registered members of the Tai Chi for Health Institute. We are not permitted to practice without this membership. We have to keep up to date with regular training and refreshers.

Typical Session

Our Tai chi for Health Institute classes include Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 1 and 2, with Falls Prevention, also known as the Sun Style Short Form.

Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 1 (TCA1) and Part 2 (TCA2) is primarily aimed towards people with all forms of arthritis, fibromyalgia and balance issues.  It is based on Sun Style Tai Chi, which due to it’s higher stance makes it easier for everyone to learn.  However, this course provides a good introduction to Sun Style Tai Chi and is also known as the Sun Style Short Form, it is suitable for everyone.

Our classes start with the Tai chi for Health warm up followed by a few minutes of relaxation practicing Qigong and then we follow the Stepwise Progressive Teaching Method learning a new movement each week. Each class is finished with a cool down.

Want to know our schedule for classes?

Go to our Class Time Table page

Reported Benefits of Tai Chi:

  • Pain relief and less stiffness
  • Improved balance and less falls
  • Uplifting of the spirit and greater relaxation
  • Improved ability to do daily tasks
  • Improved muscle strength and joint flexibility
  • Enjoyment of tai chi practice

Tai Chi in the Park

Tai Chi in the park is a free practice session open to all abilities on the last Saturday of every month from 10:00 to 11:00. We are located in the floral gardens on West Park, Long Eaton just left of the butterfly gates entrance.

During the winter months the ground and weather are a little wet so we are taking a break until the new year. We have booked Petersham Community Hall on Jan 25th and Feb 29th 10am. If you would like to join us we just ask that we split the cost of the hall hire between those who attend. We will hopefully return to the floral gardens in March and in April it is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day.


Certificates and T-Shirts

Students who complete Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 1 and principles are awarded a T-shirt and those who go on to complete part 2 and principles are awarded a certificate of attendance.

small steps to health tai chi
Fibro Active

Small Steps to Health

small steps to health tai chi
Who are we?

Fibro Active is a support group for people with Fibromyalgia (FM) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and their carers.

We are a positive and inclusive group that focuses on healthy lifestyle, light exercise, support and sharing information as well as educating members about their condition and help them move forward with their acceptance and management of the illness.

Kev and Julie launched Fibro Active and put on a 6-week programme


Be Active


Members suggested a Tai Chi taster session

Keep Learning


Take Notice

Kev travelled the lands of Erewash in search of the elusive Tai Chi instructor but no success!

Julie found a tai chi instructor!
Her own physio therapist!

Chris Davenport

Then one day...

Julie quickly booked a taster course with 5 group members

Julie was dependant on a mobility scooter

Jane was also hooked.
It was helping with her stress

After 12 weeks she started to have the strength to walk again

We applied for funding and brought Chris into the programme

One member was so weak that we thought he might fall. He was dependant on crutches.

He persevered and today he can demonstrate Tai Chi for Arthritis Parts 1 & 2

He attends our group walks with just a stick.

Case Study

Chris saw the potential in Julie and Jane and suggested they trained as:

Sustaining the Tai Chi classes

Tai Chi for Health Instructors

The Thursday evening group meetings quickly evolved into open Tai Chi Classes

Falls Prevention

We launched the classes at the Spring into Action Event.

Jo Briggs funded us to open a class in the afternoon.

We had a fabulous turn out with over
20 people taking part

Thursday Evenings

We created a second class

We qualified in part 2 of the course

A move to Petersham Hall in 2018 brought us back to familiar surroundings

Starting at 10am in the first time zone and moving as a wave around the world as 10am reaches each time zone

We organized a small gathering on World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2019

Tai Chi in the Park

The last Saturday in the month
10am – 11am
March to October

Free practice sessions in the Floral Gardens, West Park.

We presented T-shirts and Certificates to students who had completed the
Tai Chi for Arthritis programme

August 2019 BBQ Presentation

Tai Chi is...


Challenging to learn so you have a sense of accomplishment

You can practice it anywhere

It’s an accessible way to improve health without medication


Uplifting of the spirit and greater relaxation

Improved muscle strength and joint flexibility

Pain relief and less stiffness

Improved balance and less falls

Improved ability to do daily tasks


Chris continues to volunteer his time at Fibro Active every fortnight

We refer students to each other’s classes

You might even see a panda or three

We are stronger together

Julie and Jane continue their CPD at Chris’ Thursday classes at Petersham Hall

Chris, Julie and Jane lead the World Tai Chi & Qigong Day event

We meet to discuss development

We have extended our Monday classes. Students can drop in and access a range of coping skills to reduce stress.

Open Minds and Inspirative Arts rotate every 6 week to deliver:

Coping skills

Structured cuppa and chat


Art therapy

FM & CFS/ME can effect 1 in 20 of us

We bring isolated sufferers together

The income from the open classes help sustain our group meetings

In turn the community benefit from falls prevention and improving mental health

Fibro Active

You have been watching us demonstrate

This form takes a year to learn and a lifetime to master

Tai Chi for Arthritis Parts 1 & 2

Active lives in Erewash 2020 Awards

Runner Up

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This is what some of our students had to say:

It’s a pleasure to attend this tai chi course as the instructors create a lovely relaxed atmosphere, whilst teaching an art that keeps you fit and healthy in mind and body.  Each week learning a series of named movements adding to a general tai chi routine; I have found these courses most beneficial and really enjoyable.


Harder than it initially looked, but Julie and Jane are very patient and professional. Will be signing up again.


I have psoriatic arthritis so to find something that I can do is a real bonus.  The gentle movement and co ordination is a great way to try and move painful joints.  After many years of falling the improvement in my balance is remarkable.  It doesn’t make me superwoman but makes me a lot more measured in movement and steadier with my balance.


I started my first tai chi class on Monday and was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was so spiritual to watch Julie and Jane do the routine with such synchronisation. I hope I can learn to do this too!


Been a lovely calming experience learning with Julie and Jane.  They are very patient teachers and I love the lessons. Looking forward to the next phase.  Practice, practice, practice!



Christopher Davenport is our most experienced trainer. He is a Physiotherapist at Impact Physio and runs classes in Tai Chi for Arthritis, Yang and Sun styles.

Chris is the lead instructor for the Fibro Active Tuesday mixed ability
class where all 3 instructors are present to enable us to break into smaller groups according to the levels of ability.

Julie Barker is Chairperson of Fibro Active and is qualified as a Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Beginners Instructor she has attended the Sun and Yang style classes at Impact Physio for three years and greatly benefited from practicing the styles. Julie is a former level 1 archery coach, small bore rifle instructor and community sports coach including female only level 1 boxing coach.

Jane Gordon is the Treasurer of Fibro Active and after joining Julie each week at Impact Physio also attended the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Beginners course. Jane is a keen fitness guru and has spent many years swimming, jogging and walking.

Fibro Active have been funded by Public Health to deliver Tai Chi for Arthritis classes to group members. By training as instructors, we can make the Tai Chi classes sustainable for the group and work in partnership with other organisations such as Strictly no Falling and Broad Street Spiritualist Centre to deliver the programme to help reduce the risk of trips and falls in the community.