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 Steve Plunkett

Steve has been appointed as a Trustee to fill the gap left by Mr Andrew Ainsworth's resignation. With effect from 31 May 2018.

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/Treasurer

Steve Plunkett Barnsley LTE heart supportWorked within the Financial Services as an Independent Financial Advisor over the last 41 years and also during the last 20 years help both sons with their separate businesses.
A couple of heart attacks 10 years ago bought me into contact with the Barnsley LTE Heart Support Group becoming an active member and have held the post of Chairman and Treasurer for above 5 years.
Outside of work I am an active family man, grandad and enjoy gardening, walking and keeping fit and have a keen interest in most types of 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.

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 7 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 - Health & Safety & Fire Officer
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.

Pete Wall

Pete WallPete has been a member of the committee for 7 years following a heart related problem 9 years ago.  He is a very active family man, and both Peter and his wife Lorraine are extremely keen cyclists.  He was also involved during the ongoing set up of the gym, travelling several hundred miles helping to pick up the exercise equipment.  Since then he has always been relied on to help run sessions, cover absences and also to help with any task relating to the provision of the social events i.e. Pie & Pea nights, Dinner Dance etc.


John Darnborough - Obituary

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.

Vera Shorthouse - Obituary


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.

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
Prem Basynake - Medical Support Staff

Prema Basnayake - Retired Medical PractitionerPrem is a retired Medical Practitioner, who joined the Long Term Exercise Program in 2008 after a heart attack in April of that year.

"I've benefited enormously from the Program and wish to pass on those benefits to others"

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

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.

Diane Wall - Fund Raiser
Mick Caulfield - Volunteer Support
Don Gent - Webmaster and Volunteer

don-photoNow retired - Don loves the internet, books and music. Plays second fiddle to his Good Lady Gail, and visiting Cats. Can be found tweeting @roystondon, and mooching around Facebook.