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Peter Locans – Isle of Wight Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team, St. Mary’s Hospital

I am a strong believer of hands on learning and feel that this course provides that opportunity through shadowing of qualified ARNI trainers. Knowledge is power, yes, but this stuff cant always be learnt from a book, especially given the complexity of stroke, and the huge variety of presentations that we will face. I think the practical shadowing element of this course should be strongly encouraged, even enforced (maybe a signing off sheet for each trainer as proof of attendance). Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and the content, plenty of time for study and examination prep with loads of useful resources (books,leaflets and software). It has shown me that in my current role, stroke survivors shouldn’t be treated as a ‘patient’ and tip toed around but, rather a client who wants to train and regain some normality in their life. I am more aware of a stroke survivors capabilities and realise that sometimes we do not challenge or progress them enough. I want to personally thank you Tom. I don’t know how you manage to juggle all of your projects and still find time to support all of your trainers and clients so closely. Its been a great experience for me.

Paul Hogan – Professional Trainer – Ireland

I am delighted with the result that I achieved. All the trips over to London were well worth it. The next step for me is to start promoting the qualification that I gained so that I can start helping stroke survivors. I really do hope that the ARNI approach becomes more and more recognised in Ireland. I thought the course was very well organised and very professional. Tom you are so knowledgeable and it was fantastic to have someone who experienced a stroke first hand to teach and train us. Your expertise in working with stroke survivors is invaluable and I admire all the work you and your team do. Having the opportunity to meet and train stroke survivors is a crucial element of the course. I found the hands on approach to the course priceless in learning the practical elements involved in the course. The manual is very detailed and I referred to it on numerous occasions in my preparation for the practical exam and written assignment. I know it will be my first point of reference and I encourage all future clients to buy the manual.
Finally, I would like to thank you for all your hard work, time and effort you put into the running of this fantastic course. You remain very passionate and dedicated to helping stoke survivors. I admire all the work you do and I have no doubt that your good work will continue for many years to come. Thanks for all your time. I will remain in contact with you with any updates that I have.

Tim Spring – Professional Trainer (Level 4 Clinical Exercise Specialist in Cardiac, Cancer and Stroke) – Exeter

Having recently completed the ARNI FRETS Functional Rehabilitation after Stroke Qualification I wish to extend my thanks to Dr Balchin and the associates of the Institute for designing and delivering such a fantastic course. This is the third Level 4 qualification that I’ve completed and it has been without doubt the most rewarding and informative.

In contrast to many of the other courses that I’ve undertaken, the ARNI FRETS accreditation provides ‘hands-on’ experience with stroke survivors. As part of the framework we spent two full days training survivors in massed practice sessions, in addition to the half-day assessment where we again worked with stroke survivors. These experiences are invaluable in understanding and gaining insight into the spectrum of stroke presentations, they served to ignite my own passion for training those recovering from stroke and ABI and they will stay with me as I endeavour to train more survivors. The importance of practical application is explicitly stressed throughout the course and with the foundational knowledge-base that the course instils I feel confident that I can instruct sound in the knowledge that I am working to evidence-based protocols.

The course included a theory day that was hosted by the University College London and was attended by a host of respected guest speakers that spoke on a variety of neuroscience and neurorehabilitation related topics. It was fantastic to see the facilities at the University and to receive a detailed tour of the specialist wards. To hear experts in their respective fields talking passionately about some of the research and developments at the forefront of neuroscience was a truly inspiring and educational course inclusion. A particularly special thanks must be extended to Tom. From my initial enquiry through to completion of the course, and beyond, Tom has been endlessly professional, conscientious, knowledgeable and genuinely interested in the success of his instructors. He has proven to be a fantastic mentor and someone that I feel incredibly confident in looking to for guidance. I feel privileged to be able to associate myself with the fantastic work that the ARNI Institute undertakes.