We deliver FREE Health and Wellbeing activities to Over 60’s. Places for People part fund us to deliver this project in 11 of their sheletered schemes in Bury/Ramsbottom, Blackburn, Chorley and Preston. The lottery Reaching Communities funds us to deliver this project accross Preston and South Ribble. We have also received funding from Gregs, Alice Bridges, and Barchester to contribute to this programme.
This project aims to reduce Social Isolation and increase Health & Wellbeing. There are an increasing number of people over 60s who are becoming more socially isolated for a variety of reasons. Our social activity programme identifies and addresses residents’ barriers they have to accessing/ participating in social activities i.e. health, cost / mobility /transport/ hearing / lack of confidence etc. We find out what participants needs, health and mobility issues and interests are and tailor the programme to ensure we can influence, motivate and not exclude any resident who would like to get involved in the activities. We treat everyone fairly and encourage those with mental health and mobility issues to attend and make this as easy as we can for them. We improve health and well-being by offering reduced isolation, improved confidence. We improve mental well-being and encourage and motivate residents to join in.
Health and Welly walks; Walking helps with improving fitness and weight loss, it burns calories. Walking improves mood and mental well-being. This walk is an opportunity to come along either on your own, with your carers or family members, bring the dog if you wish, to get out of the house in the fresh air, connect with the outdoors, with nature, take notice, connect with other people. We always tailor our walks to the participants mobility. We do a ‘recci’ before to make sure it has different levels for different mobility’s. We ensure there is a café, lots of benches, and a flat area to walk round.
Walking Sports sessions; At the local Leisure Centre; games played consist of walking football, cricket and rounders, indoor bowls, badminton, and tennis. For those less able, arm chair and gentle exercise sessions are delivered in a community venue. The active session are informal, and fun where the participants are taking part in gentle exercise to improve their health and wellbeing, it does not feel like exercise or tedious as they are having fun. Some residents who can’t take part still join us for the sessions to cheer their neighbours and friends on; we always finish our sessions with a chat and coffee.
Cook and Taste sessions; We use a community / communal kitchen and room to all cook a healthy meal together for example a low fat or low salt meal; everyone is given a task to do no matter how small, preparing/peeling vegetables, or preparing the desert. Whilst the food is cooking in the oven, we play games or do a Healthy Food quiz and discuss healthy options/alternatives to menus; then, everyone sits down and eats together. This has proved an extremely popular activity as especially for those who live alone, cooking for one isn’t always enjoyable, so by coming together and cooking in a group and sitting down and eating together has proved to be an activity that people really get a lot out of plus, they get a healthy home cooked meal included.
Mobile Cinema experience; The cinema nowadays is a luxury to many due to the cost. We bring the mobile cinema to where the residents are and give them a cinema experience in house. They choose the film from a large catalogue of DVDs. We ask the participants before hand what genre of film they enjoy choose a film that appeals to the majority. We have an interval with snacks and then after the film we have a fish and chip or pie and chip supper where again, everyone sits and eats together.
Health Awareness session; In this session we discuss many topics; the five ways to wellbeing, we discuss how important it is to connect with others and make connections within your community to increase your mental well-being. We cover such topics as how to lower cholesterol, living with and how to avoid getting diabetes, dementia awareness, healthy hearts to name but a few (we tailor this to our audience and pick subject which will educate residents with limiting and long-term health conditions).
Digital Connect sessions; We believe that being digital included, no matter what your age, can reduce isolation and encourage people to connect. We teach people how to use Skype to contact friends and family who live all over the country and world. We show people how to use Google to search for local groups to connect with, research their interests and educate themselves. We set up an email address for them and show them how to make best use of browsing the internet. We stagger the computer sessions over a couple of hours and give people allotted time slots to ensure they have one to one/ one or two support, so they don’t loose interest or find it too difficult.
Coach trips and outings; We carry out joint trips with other schemes/groups of residents/schemes in an area to facilitate and encourage people making new friends and connecting with each other. We have much experience of new found friendships which have blossomed into something quite special. The trips are to encourage people to leave their homes and have a change of scenery, to connect to the local area and other people. We ensure that the trips are chosen with the residents and we make sure that the places are accessible by public transport, so that people can revisit themselves if they wish to.
Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about this programme.