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New Fit 4 All activity group for older people launched in Alston

A Fit 4 All session at Shap

A new group for older people has been launched in Alston offering activities like table tennis, badminton, seated exercise and board games – plus good company.

Fit 4 All provides gentle activities specifically designed to help older people become more active and socialise.

The sessions are led by a facilitator and are informal, allowing people to take part in as much or as little as they like.

The new Fit 4 All sessions are taking place at Alston Masonic Hall every Thursday between 10am and 12 noon.

Councillor Lissie Sharp, Communities Portfolio Holder at Eden District Council, says: “Whilst the activity side of the sessions is really important in helping to improve health and wellbeing in later years, equally as important is the social side of things – the chance to chat over a cup of tea and to get together with friends old and new. This helps to reduce rural and social isolation.”

The range of activities on offer at Fit 4 All includes warm-up, gentle exercise, badminton, indoor bowls, seated exercise, table tennis, dance, boccia, walking and board games. The activities are specifically tailored to those attending each session.

Fit 4 All sessions were set up and are funded by the Leisure and Communities Team of Eden District Council with GLL as a provider.

There are also weekly Fit 4 All sessions at:

  • Kirkoswald Church Institute each Tuesday afternoon from 1.45-3.45pm
  • Shap Memorial Hall each Wednesday morning between 9.45 and 11.45am.
  • The Hub, Appleby, each Friday afternoon between 1.15 and 3.15pm.

Those already taking part in Fit 4 All say it has made a big difference to them. Some of their comments include:

‘At 85 years of age, this is keeping me alive! When I started I couldn’t get out of the chair, so I did the exercises from the chair, now I can do them standing.’

‘When I suffer ill health, I can feel trapped in the home. I suffer from depression in the winter months – these sessions help.’

‘The best part of this is that I can bring my husband (who has dementia) and he can do the activities alongside me. The social aspect is as important as the physical aspect.’

Eden District Council has now partnered with Eden Integrated Care Community (ICC) to incorporate the ICC’s Falls Prevention Programme into the Fit 4 All sessions in the locations above.

The local NHS partners can provide access to health advice and information and links to additional services and support as required.

Tanya Coates, Advanced Practitioner and Clinical Lead (Physiotherapy) Eden ICC said: “As health staff we are really excited to work alongside our council and leisure colleagues and be part of the already successful Fit 4 All sessions.

“It demonstrates fantastic integrated working and allows us to be more proactive in supporting the residents of Eden.”

There is a small charge of £3 per person per session and there is no need to sign up for all the sessions, just come along to the sessions that are convenient.

For more information telephone 01768 817817 and ask for the Leisure & Communities Team or email [email protected]

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