What did you do? Where? How did you promote? Who attended?
We ran one pilot session to test out the concept with interested people.
We then ran 2 x 5 sessions with a break for half term.
We held the sessions at St Peter’s Centre with Andy Beech as the trainer.
We promoted it through our database lists, social media and through word of mouth.
The concept of an exercise class that involved children was popular and worked really well once we figured out how to do it.
We had a mix of people from the church, the local area and friends of friends from outside of the BLSW11 area.
Being able to offer the sessions at £2 with the first two free meant it was really accessible for everyone.
The Katherine Low Settlement has been running chair-based exercise classes for frail older people for three years. We identified that a barrier to attendance at these classes for local people was lack of transport. Although the Dial-A-Ride service exists, people have to be attending an activity for a while before they are accepted onto the scheme, and also often need support to fill in the application form. The Big Local funding provided a pilot scheme to enable transport for older people to be funded whilst we provided support with Dial-A-Ride applications. The aim was that this encouraged very inactive local people to take up some form of exercise and in a way that would be sustainable through the Dial-A-Ride scheme.
Trailer of the KLS Chair exercise program
This was a very challenging project and we are grateful for the opportunity to pilot a way to enable some of the most inactive and isolated people in the local area to get out and get active.
As a result of the project we have been able to take what we have learned to the Wandsworth Mobility Forum and share our concerns with Dial-A-Ride. We hope this will lead to better ways of working which will enable very elderly people be more active.
Key successes and achievements (300 words) What went well? Was there a significant impact? What did participants tell you?
We have encouraged active and independent living by enabling elderly people most at risk of becoming less active, to leave their house, stay physically more healthy and have a sense of purpose to their lives.
Improve health and well-being: Those attending classes have attended regularly and reported improvements in balance, fitness and strength and a general sense of emotional well-being. In addition, attendance at the class has increased a positive attitude towards physical activity such that older people may feel able to do more (generally in their lives, as well as more exercise) independently.
Reduce isolation and loneliness:By encouraging people to join in with this activity and be able to also spend time with other people in the class and access some of the other social programmes within KLS, for example, our weekly lunch clubs. This pilot scheme included the administrative support to become users of the Dial-A-Ride service which they can now use to access other activities as well.
One of the attendees said ‘I feel extremely grateful. Without the transport I couldn’t come to chair based exercise. I feel that the classes are doing me some good – it is a form of physiotherapy and I have more ‘get and go’ after the class. At first I wasn’t sure about the classes and viewed them from afar, but having tried it I’m getting into it and I’m going to carry on doing them.’
Click here If you want to learn more or watch the chair exercises videos to do them in your home.