I don’t really have an average working day! Two and a half days a week I work as an A&E practitioner at Whiston Hospital. I work with a team of doctors, specialist nurses and physiotherapists.
My role is to assess and manage acute musculoskeletal injuries in people who attend the emergency department. This includes sprains, strains, fractures, sports injuries and acute back pain along with other more unusual pathologies.
I also work as a private physiotherapist at Forest Hills Hotel, Frodsham, where I see a mixture of musculoskeletal problems for physiotherapy management.
My main area of expertise is back pain and lower limb injuries with an emphasis on prevention and management of endurance running injuries.
Monday morning’s focus is my beginners group in Castle Park in Frodsham. I usually arrive at 9am to risk assess the areas of the park we will be using that day and check for hazards like ice, wet leaves and dog poo!
I plan weekly training sessions based around different goals like strength, speed endurance and improving running form. I use my physiotherapy and biomechanics knowledge combined with my British Athletics endurance coaching training to develop varied and interesting sessions that can cater for all abilities.
Monday evenings I help Joe and Mario at Helsby running club and lead fortnightly speed endurance sessions for runners training for longer events such as half and full marathons and beyond.
I have recently introduced a six weekly family time trial so that runners can bring their kids along to try out different distances. I am passionate about the fitness and confidence building benefits of running and really feel that it is a sport that families can enjoy together.
My son Charlie loves coming along to the sessions and has even started a little lunch time running group with his friends at school!
Wednesday evening is Helsby running club night and along with fantastic support from the other runners in the club, particularly Betty Grieve, we have a very successful beginners group that is going from strength to strength. My voluntary work is all part of a London 2012 legacy charity called Join In.
I fit in another two or three running sessions for myself around the club and group sessions and attend a high intensity training session at Forest Hills at 6.50am every Friday.
I am an associate physiotherapy lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, teaching Masters students on a modular basis. I love the challenge of keeping up to date with current evidence-based practice and physiotherapy research and often learn just as much from the students as they learn from me!
My job often involves working at the weekends to provide physiotherapy cover at sporting events such as the British Athletics Championships, the UK school games and the Conwy Mountain Triathlon. If I am not working I can be seen in my pea green Helsby vest racing on the hills of North Wales or the roads of Cheshire.
Dress: In A&E I wear scrubs and when working as a sports physio I usually wear a track suit and T-shirt.
What is the favourite part of your job? I love being a musculoskeletal detective and working out what is causing someone’s pain or loss of function. The best bit is when they make a good recovery because of my treatment and advice.
What is the least favourite part of your job? Seeing people in a lot of pain.
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? Maintaining mountain paths in the Lake District!
How do you relax when you are not working? Running in the mountains or eating in a posh restaurant with my husband Chris and son Charlie.
What is your favourite film? Any Harry Potter film because I watch them with Charlie in our camper van when it’s raining and we chat about the plot for hours!
What is your favourite book? Love any sporting biographies or mountaineering stories when people have overcome adversity to achieve great things.
What is your favourite song? N-Trance Set You Free. It reminds me of university and dancing in the car with my volleyball buddies!
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? No idea but it wouldn’t be a very exciting film.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? I played for Salford Volleyball club in the National Shield final twice. We won one, lost one. Was also shortlisted for the Activator of the Year award at the Cheshire Sports awards and was voted Helsby Running Club’s runners’ runner last year.
- Name: Jane Ashbrook
- Job: Physiotherapist
- Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
- Lives: Frodsham
- Education: Queen Elizabeth High, Hexham. BSc Hons Physiotherapy University of Liverpool, Masters in Manual Therapy, Manchester Metropolitan University 2014
- Family: Married to Chris with son Charlie, seven
Find out more about volunteering for Join In at joininuk.org/bighelpout.
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