A woman who has spent her lifetime keeping Peterborough in tip-top condition is celebrating 50 years of her keep fit class.
Michele Carter is still helping residents old and young stay in shape despite reaching her 69th birthday.
While not all the members of her classes can stay active – she runs some sitting down sessions for elderly residents – she has become a popular instructor around the city.
Now she has marked five decades running her keep fit classes, during which time she has even swapped the village halls where she normally runs the classes for a much grander venue, and even choreographed routines at the Royal Albert Hall.
Michele and her friends and class members celebrated the 50 years with a special meal at The Farmers pub in Yaxley.
Michele, from Fletton, said she was originally inspired by mum Marjorie and despite reaching the milestone, she had no intention of stopping.
She said: “I followed in the footsteps of my mum who was a wonderful keep fit teacher.
“I want to keep going as long as I can.
“I love seeing the effect the classes have on people, and the improvement people make.”
Michele’s classes, run in Dogsthorpe, Stanground, Barnack and Market Deeping, have participants aged from 17 to 92, and she said: “It is so important for people to keep moving.
“There is so much stress about obesity and dementia today. It is important to keep fit, and not do too much sitting, for your joints as well.”
Michele has been a member of the national Keep Fit Association during her time as an instructor, which led her to the Royal Albert Hall.
Michele and her group were representing ‘Eastern Counties’ at the association’s national assembly, when they performed to a packed house at the iconic London venue.
Michelle, who said producing the performances at the Albert Hall had been a personal highlight, has now been asked to represent them again at next year’s assembly at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
Along with her teaching, she also runs a demonstration team, ‘Michele’s Girls,’ with all the members in their 60s.
The team have performed across the country, even opening the National Indoor Stadium in Birmingham.
Allison Jackson, who has been going to Michele’s classes for 35 years, said: “Michele has been inspirational to so many women by providing safe classes to exercise and the opportunity to join an association that puts not only health first but support in so many other ways too.
“We all feel part of a family that looks out for each other.
“We have been together through marriages and births, divorce and deaths and along the way we have found laughter and fun through Michele’s fabulous classes.”