Cardiac rehab class receives commemorative donation

A keen supporter of a cardiac rehabilitation programme hosted by RGU: SPORT has made a special donation to the class in memory of her late husband.

Aileen Brown 1Aileen Brown donated an exercise spin bike to the programme hosted within Robert Gordon University’s state-of-the-art sport facility on Tuesday 5 June on behalf of her husband, Sandy Brown, who attended the class but sadly passed away in October 2011.

The cardiac rehab classes are run by the Grampian Cardiac Rehabilitation Association (GCRA), a north-east charity which designs and delivers weekly sessions for GP or hospital-referred patients who are recovering from - or are at risk of developing - heart problems.

Participants undertake a structured exercise programme delivered by specialist cardiac rehab instructors at the university and across the region, comprising hour-long circuit-based training on a variety of equipment and exercise techniques.

Sandy, from Springfield Avenue, joined the cardiac rehab programme eight years ago, and then the class at RGU: SPORT five years ago, primarily due to his rehabilitation needs following cardiac surgery. Partners are invited to attend the class in support of their loved ones, and so Aileen occasionally joined in also.  

She explains: “The whole concept of the programme is great. When people have a heart attack or undergo major heart surgery, they can be very fragile afterwards. Family members can often, without meaning to, coddle them which can slow their rehabilitation. Classes like this build confidence and allow people to achieve far more than in the home.

Cardiac rehab classGoing on to describe the classes themselves, Aileen continued: “There’s a tremendous amount of camaraderie. For instructors like ours, Kay, to achieve the results they do, there needs to be a lot of trust. Nobody is ever pushed to do anything they don’t want to, but the supportive atmosphere helps people push themselves to achieve more than they ever thought they could manage.”  

Aileen’s donation of the spin bike to GCRA was made possible following a collection at Sandy’s thanks giving service which raised a total of £640.   

“I was delighted to make this donation,” said Aileen. “Sandy was a very dedicated member of both the programme and the cause. Putting the money collected at his service towards the charity not only keeps the money locally, but helps support a programme which Sandy was passionate about and makes a real difference to so many.”         

Class instructor, Kay Robb said: “On behalf of GCRA I would like to thank Aileen for thinking about us at a difficult time. The donation is gratefully received. While RGU provide us with a wide variety of equipment and a lovely studio, new equipment is always appreciated, especially when it comes from such special circumstances.”

Aileen’s donation was made following the weekly cardio rehab session at RGU: SPORT on Tuesday 5 June. In attendance was Bert Hosie, GCRA co-founder and former Associate and Deputy Head of School of Mechanical and Offshore Engineering for The Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology.

Bert commented: “As we approach GCRA’s 10 year anniversary, we are delighted that the programme is proving so popular. The charity plays a vital role in rehabilitating participants back to healthy, meaningful and gainful lifestyles. Without any formal funding, we are always looking to fund raise. As such, kind donations such Aileen’s help ensure that the long-term health benefits of participating in the programme may be widely available in the community.”

Further information about GCRA, including how to donate to the charity, can be found online at

Photo captions
Top right (l-r): Aileen Brown, Kay Robb
Bottom left: Aileen with members of the cardiac rehabilitation class at RGU: SPORT

Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389