About Us

Our Story

LTE gym in action Royston Barnsley

About Barnsley Healthy Hearts

Barnsley Healthy Hearts is the online home of The Barnsley Long Term Exercise (LTE) Heart Support Group. We were initially set up over 10 years ago to help support heart patients and their carers by providing exercise sessions which were specifically designed for older patients who had medical problems which prevented or limited them from attending normal sessions in Leisure Centres. Conditions such as Heart Disease, COPD, Arthritis, Diabetes etc, with their debilitating problems required specific exercise programmes and monitoring.

Our sessions continue to provide long term exercise facilities for those people who have heart or respiratory disease and have attended a NHS exercise rehabilitation programme. However with the high incidence of heart disease and associated problems, we are becoming more proactive in providing exercise facilities for those wishing to prevent heart disease and promote a more active and healthy lifestyle.

Our membership has grown and more people who are wishing to maintain their health and their independence have joined us. The group provides a supportive contextoften within family groups with younger members encouraging their parents to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

We have a strong community ethos and actively promote social activities for our members providing friendship, a place to meet, exercise, have a cup of tea and a chat. Our Social Evenings, Coach Trips and Christmas Dinner & Dance are always well attended.

What do we do?

Barnsley LTE heart support

Bringing Healthy Hearts to Barnsley

Everything is aimed at reducing the stress and trauma of heart problems. If you are a heart patient or are caring for one, we may be able to help. We have all been through this.

We are affiliated to the British Heart Foundation, and support their work on education, training and providing equipment where appropriate. Within this context, we are self-supporting and rely entirely on donations and subscriptions to survive. 

However, you do not have to have heart problems to attend the group. If you just want to feel better, get more exercise and believe you could do more to look after your heart, then our group offers the perfect place for preventative exercise!

Our objectives include:

  • Establishing and maintaining contact with people who have heart problems
  • Offering both the patients and their relatives' mutual help and support to achieve a realistic lifestyle
  • Providing a listening ear for both the patient and carer
  • Promote preventative exercise

Improves general level of wellbeing, fitness and maintains or enables individuals to regain independence in a secure, safe and supervised environment by qualified staff and support group members.

A Registered Charity
In November 2015 we successfully applied to become a Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Registered Charity number 1164259) and affiliated to the British Heart Foundation.

Social Activity
We have a strong social ethic and regularly host various functions such as dinner dances, quiz and bingo nights, coach trips to the Coast, Dales and Christmas markets etc. for our members and friends. Take a look at our Events page. There's more than one way to exercise!

Our Trustees


Our Trustees

Our Trustees are ultimately responsible for everything we do as a charity and can be held legally accountable for the decisions they make. They have a duty of care to guide the strategic direction of the group, to manage the group’s resources, to act in the group’s best interests and to ensure the group is accountable by complying with the law and statutory accounting.


Mr Arthur Stephen Plunkett (Steve Plunkett)

Two heart attacks in 2006-7 brought me into contact with The Barnsley Long Term Exercise Heart Support Group (Barnsley Healthy Hearts) becoming an active member simultaneously holding the posts of Chairman and Treasurer for above 10 years.
Appointed as a Trustee with effect from 31st May 2018 following the previous Chairman’s resignation, currently Chair both the Trustees and Committee meetings.
Have worked within the Financial Services since the mid 1970’s as an Independent Financial Advisor, Building Society Agency Manager and Company owner.
I thoroughly enjoy my association with the group and working with the rest of my colleagues to provide the support necessary to ensure its long-term future.

Mr Kevin Copley

Mr-K-CopleyBorn in Mexborough hospital 3rd November. Moved to Royston early 1958.
Started school at the old wooden huts (now Asda car park), then primary school now Parkside Primary, then junior school (where doctors surgery is on Midland road), then Secondary Modern school on Midland road.
Started work at British Gas in 1974 and retired from same firm in November 2014.
I am a qualified football referee and also hold the title of Club Welfare Officer with Royston Dynamos JFC - whom I have been associated with for almost 30yrs.
I have an allotment now that keeps me busy.
I also look after my 5 - now 6! grand children at various times in the week.
I like to go on holiday, when not doing any of the above.

Kevin's latest family member - all smiles and cuteness!

Mr Ian Jones

I-JonesIan Jones - Consultant
Providing; Consultancy, Interim Management, Project Support for Environmental Based Services. Associate Consultant to Peopletoo; Currently engaged on efficiency/Alternative Delivery Model reviews within the area of environmental services for a number of local authorities in South Wales. Associate Consultant to APSE Solutions; Working within the area of Performance Networks on Parks, Grounds and Horticultural services, including the establishment of the Land Audit Management System (LAMS) - a consistent quality audit of grounds (and streets) maintenance standards, providing data source for comparative Performance Indicators at national level (real time & annual).

Dr Sanjay Bangad

Trustee Barnsley LTE Heart Support

I was born in India and completed my primary medical qualification there,  moved to UK as Junior  doctor in July 1992 and completed further postgraduate training and exams here. After working in Gillingham, Derby, Hull and York, I joined Wakefield Hospitals as a Consultant Physician in August 2001 and have now completed 24 years working in NHS.

I joined Barnsley Long Term Exercise group about 5 years ago after an unexpected heart related problem and have personally gained a lot since then. I am happy to be associated with the group to help and promote healthy living .

Outside of work I love to spend family time with my wife who also works as NHS Doctor, my daughter and our little Border Terrier. I also enjoy Badminton, Gardening and Singing.



Our Committee

Barnsley LTE Heart Support Group

Say hello to the Committee Members

Discover more about our Committee Members - all working hard on the "nuts and bolts" of running the group.

Steve Plunkett - Chairman

Steve Plunkett Barnsley LTE heart supportMy association with the Barnsley LTE Heart Support Group came about in 2006 following a Heart Attack. I have benefited enormously from being involved with the group, improving confidence following the initial illness and enhanced fitness levels.
The group has a warm friendly atmosphere and the exercise sessions are provided in a warm, secure environment. Outside of work I am an active family man and grandad with 5 grandchildren. I enjoy walking, gardening, keeping fit and have an interest in most sports, particularly football.

Alan Bettison - Secretary


Commitment to a long term exercise regime following a heart attack in 2008 has been great in not only re-building lost confidence regarding physical capabilities but also the making of friendships with folks with similar experiences. Barnsley LTE is a first class facility and has a wonderful social side too.

In addition to being a patron of the gym my interests include reading; gardening; occasional watercolour painting (rather badly) and am a member of the U3A “Stringalongs” ukulele Group. Also, of course, family. Listening to my grandchildren make music is a real joy.

Peter Barnes - Treasurer

Appointed the role as Treasurer for the group in March 2020, also a volunteer session leader. When not ‘totting up the figures’ or creating new systems. Enjoys gardening and walking. Educated at Holgate School and worked in Payroll for Barnsley NHS 1965-2007.

Joyce Barnes - Volunteer Session Leader & Committee Member

Educated at Worsborough High School before working as a Nurse for Barnsley NHS 1966 before retiring in 2008. A volunteer session leader with husband Peter whilst also providing valuable medical support. Enjoys travelling abroad (when COVID permits) and walking.

Trevor & Sue Wiggan - Social Events Co-Ordinators

Trevor Wiggan Barnsley LTE heart supportSue Wiggan

Trevor and Sue both came into contact with the Heart Support Group following medical related problems 12 years ago.  They are both very keen committee members and love the ‘buzz’ of the group, taking part in session support, fund raising and organising social functions ranging from the Christmas Dinner Dance, Pie & Peas nights to days out with trips to the various parts of the country (2 or 3 times a year).

They are very family orientated, Trevor is a keen cyclist and avid Barnsley Football fan, Sue loves walking even more so combined with her other pastime of shopping!

Phil Hale - Social Events Co-Ordinator
Robert Wright

Dave Marsden


Dave MarsdenRetired since 2007

For 27 years I was NFU Group Secretary & Insurance Agent (NFU Mutual) for the Barnsley, Penistone, Sheffield and Rotherham Branches of the National Farmers Union

My interests include gardening, DIY, walking, photography and my family.

I am also a member of the Penistone Probus Club.

Richard King

Richard KingBorn in Swansea and moving to the Midlands when he was two he was lured by the sea and in 1960 started a career in the Merchant Navy. 

In 1967 he left the nautical life and moved into heavy industry in Birmingham. In 1983 he set off for Oman where he worked for 5 years. 1987 saw him move to Yorkshire and in 1992 he started working in mental health (especially autism) until his retirement in 2011.

A family man - partner Christine, 3 children and 3 grand children.

Mick Caulfield

A committee member since our move from Royston in April 2015. Loves the ‘buzz’ of the group and assisting in the organisation and supervising of some of the sessions as required

Dave Moody

Recently became a committee member and now assists in the supervision and running of certain exercise sessions.

Steve Washington

Steve was born and raised in Royston and attended local schools. Began working life at British Jeffery Diamond and later a career in Leisure Management. After early retirement Steve keeps busy with DIY, gardening and looking after his two classic cars and foreign travel.

Sylvia Washington

Was born and raised in Royston.
Working for Barnsley MBC Education Services as a schools swimming teacher, and later in Social Services. After early retirement Sylvia enjoys walking with a local group and travelling to foreign parts.

Our Volunteers

Barnsley LTE Heart Support Group volunteers

All giving their best

As a charity we rely on volunteers to help in running the group. Specialist skills are often needed and all help is gratefully received.

Alison - Medical Support Staff

I am a Retired Registered General Nurse and have worked in the NHS for over 40 years. I have worked in both the hospital and community settings mainly in medicine & cardiology, finally retiring in cardiac rehabilitation. I became involved with LTE group 10 years ago and help supervise on a weekly basis. I see first-hand the benefits of regular exercise and the change that it can make to a person’s wellbeing.
My family keep me occupied most days as well as swimming, walking and travel.

Mary Basynake - Medical Support Staff

avatar-femaleAmalor-Mary Basnayake is a retired Operating Theatre Sister.

"I joined LTE Program from a Preventative /Prophylactic point of view and from April 2008 hbenefitedited considerably from the LTE Program.

I would like to see many more people join-in

from a Keep-Fit angle."

Christine Cottis - Medical Support Staff

Christine Cottis

Claire Sykes - Fitness Instructor/Medical Support

Claire SykesHi I'm Claire.

I've been involved in sport since the age of 9 where I got involved in athletics at my local running club Wombwell AC. From the age of 11 I represented Yorkshire and the North of England in the 800 meters and cross country. At the age 19 I moved to Wakefield Harriers to compete at a high level in UK Division 1, traveling all over the UK and competing at the 200 & 400 meters.

I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and a Level 3 Sports Therapist. I am an energetic and enthusiastic person who enjoys a challenge, achieving personal goals and helping people to achieve their goals whatever it may be. Please feel free to approach me at any time with any questions as I'm here to help you.

Jody Davis - Fitness Instructor

Fully qualified level 2 Fitness Instructor and level 3 Personal Trainer with 15 years’ experience in the fitness industry. Level 3 sports Massage Therapist with 6 years extensive client base specialising in rehabilitation and injury.


Barnsley Healthy Hearts

People associated with Barnsley Healthy Hearts that we have loved and lost.

Don Gent - Webmaster and Volunteer

don-photoSadly, Don passed away on the 9th November 2020 from a long-standing illness.
Don joined Barnsley LTE in 2015 and very soon became a very active and important member of the group.
He immediately volunteered to become our Webmaster and set about creating the wonderfully informative website ‘Barnsley Healthy Hearts’ which we now all use and enjoy.
Nothing was ever too much trouble for Don, he loved to be involved in the exercise sessions, fund raising etc. and was instrumental in helping to take the group forward and consolidating our position within the community.

Prema Basnayake

Our colleague and dear friend Prem Basnayake sadly passed away on the 1st of October 2021 after a short bout of intense illness.
Prem was one of our founder members who joined the Long-Term Exercise Group in 2008 after suffering a Heart Attack in April of that year. Since then, he has provided invaluable support to the group using his extensive medical knowledge, experience and expertise. He was extremely well thought of and appreciated by all of our members, some of which benefited from his personal support, advice and guidance throughout his time with us. We will remember him fondly.

Vera Shorthouse


Sadly one of our founder members, Vera Shorthouse, passed away on December 20th 2017 after a long illness. Vera will always be remembered for her wonderful cheery smiles, and we will miss her loyal support and very significant contribution in helping to establish the Barnsley Long Term Exercise Heart Support Group.

John Darnborough

Sadly John passed away on the 14th May 2018 after a long illness. John was one of our founder members firmly committed to the establishment of the Long Term Exercise Heart Support Group. He was a very active and loyal committee member, having also served as the Chairman. He will always be remembered for his hard work, cheery disposition and wonderful sense of humour.