Basis south Essex/Visually impaired (27th November 2020)

CEO Michelle Thomson shared ‘Our keep fit group for the visually impaired which is funded by the ELDP has continued running throughout lockdown via Zoom. Our dedicated instructor Steve Moxley who has led the group has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation as an Essex Activity Hero by Active Essex.

We are so pleased that he’s been recognised for all his hard work and dedication to keeping the group going throughout the year. He has taken the time to get to know the members and all of their individual needs. He has a great understanding of visual impairments and describes all of the exercises to help the group take part fully.’

  • For more stories read here:  
      • Gateway Community (20th November 2020): Gateway Community with their idea of keeping active in the air. They are supporting and promoting physical fitness online. Reaching the digitally isolated and connecting the community over the airwaves in Basildon. Watch this space, launching in January 2021…
      • Sheltered Housing (6th November 2020): LDP supported Sheltered Housing,  B.A.S.E. Fitness – Believe. Achieve .Succeed. Empower -Cathy Pinchback shared ‘we are delivering online workouts with staff, supporting Basildon Council workforce, with zoom classes  facilitated at 6.30am and 1pm plus evening and weekend classes. On 02/11/20  we started our 30-Day Christmas Countdown
      • Basis South Essex (30th October 2020):LDP approved, Basis, who supporting visually impaired residents, Michelle Thomas shared: ‘Fortunately since we had adapted the project to run online it hasn’t been adversely affected by the change to Tier 2 restrictions. There are at least 12 people attending the keep fit each week and we have 5 more people interested who we plan to deliver training to in using Zoom to get them set up.
      • Basildon Mind (30th October 2020):Basildon Mind - The Essex MapBasildon Mind started delivery of their LDP supported Active & Assured Basildon Mind walking group this week. Basildon Mind are supporting the community walking group with walking buddies who will stimulate interest in walking as a form of exercise for people affected by the pandemic.

      • Basis South Essex-(2nd October 2020) :The LDP funding has meant that the BASIS keep fit group had been meeting weekly via Zoom sessions, hosted by our keep fit instructor Steve. 12 of our visually impaired members take part each week, maintaining their fitness and having the opportunity to keep in touch with each other. At the beginning of September the group had returned to its “real world” venue in Billericay to exercise in small, socially distanced groups, however following Boris Johnson’s latest guidance we took the decision to return to the Zoom sessions to keep our older members safe. The secondary positive outcome to come of these sessions has been that all the keep fitters have learned a new skill in using the Zoom App which they have been able to transfer to keep in touch with family and friends throughout lockdown. We’ve adapted and learnt along the way so that we now know the sessions will continue through whatever the pandemic throws at us! 
      • T.I.M.E and Stroke association (25th September 2020): TIME: Therapy In Musical Expression's stream on SoundCloud - Hear the world's soundsMarc and the team from T.I.M.E, have been delivering music sessions for carers since 15th September online. They have engaged 12 people for 1 hour which went really well. This will be continued to be delivered online until the new year, then hoping to review for face to face delivery dependant on guidance. Taking this proposal online has meant they can deliver double the sessions because of 1-hour online recording and  saving on the venue costs. The savings means that they can now purchase instruments for all participates to use at home to ensure physical activity. Please see below feedback below from the session: 

        Louise Harnigold of The Stroke Association: “Wow that was amazing thank you so much. Everyone had a great time, the music sounded fantastic and we have already had a few people contact us asking when we can do that again.”

      • Changing Pathways (18th September 2020):LDP approved Changing Pathways (women’s refuge) Couch to 5K running group has started, Thursday was the  2nd session. 10 women signed up have a brand new kit. Going really well and the women are happy and enjoying the run. There is already planning taking place for the second phase.
      • Basis South Essex-(August 2020): LDP approved Micro Grant applicants Basis supporting the visually impaired, have repurposed their idea in these difficult times to support their service users. Due to COVID 19 they will be running a Zoom keep fit group, in place of the usual face to face sessions, working with 10 visually impaired clients each week.
      • Purple Genies (June 2020):

        Purple Genies is a well-known group that support people with their mental health. During lockdown they are being flexible with the LDP funding,  bringing ‘Moods, Movement and Magic Moments’ to the residents of Basildon (See attached leaflet to share). This is to enjoy movement via dance and then having space to share what’s on their mind with others… Purple Genies have another 2 established groups that support men and women, the WOW and the WOLF  programmes which work with people who are in recovery from domestic violence and need support with their mental health. The WOW programme is for women, and the WOLF programme is for men.

      • Shaddow Group (June 2020):LDP Shaddow Group, co-funded by Swan Housing continue to make a difference with young people and their families. They have been completing dance routines and performing arts from their homes as part of the fun assignments. To celebrate Swan are shining a light and sharing this on their website, social media channels and with the local media, particularly the Basildon Echo who have been interested since it launched back in January this year.
      • Kool Cares (May 2020):Kool Carers are using their micro-grant money to boost their support for young carers who are feeling increasingly isolated through online and phone counselling sessions.
      • Achievement through Football (ATF)(May 2020):Achievement through football (ATF) are supporting Briscoes Primary School with six sessions a week including boxing fitness and family gardening, ensuring social distancing is maintained. We are supporting 16 young people over the sessions.
      • Sheltered Housing (May 2020):An LDP Micro grant approved applicant shared will be uploading exercise videos on their system to support their staff to keep more active and to promote health and wellbeing.
      • Kids Inspire ‘Have your Say’ (March 2020):Some exciting news was revealed this week through the work of data and insight.  Kids inspire are a local children charity who would like to gather thoughts from local parents to carers, and young people on their views and ideas on how to get children and their families more active in a local, community context.  This will help the LDP further understand assets and barriers for families to be physically active enabling us to support community-driven interventions accordingly. With the project based across Basildon, Chelmsford Colchester and Harlow, this project also enables comparisons to be drawn between LDP areas and other areas in Essex.
      • Ndi-Igbo –(March 2020):Ndi-Igbo Basildon is a dynamic Association swelling in numbers and new interests across Basildon and surrounding Boroughs. This great Association continues to move from strength to strength carrying out various activities to improve the welfare of members. Gurnam  our LDP Coordinator visited one of our micro-grant recipients in Basildon ‘Ndi Igbo’ to observe the group in action on the evening of Saturday 29th February, demonstrating the diverse community becoming more active through traditional dance.

Sport for Confidence Christmas Boccia Tournament (20th November 2020):

As part of the Community Christmas Calendar, boccia kits which will be delivered to all Colchester’s care homes and we hope to have a boccia league and will see our league champions crowned on 24th December! Every Care Home will be provided with their own Boccia Kit to ensure physical activity can be sustained all year round. Having access to this small-scale equipment will reduce the risk of inactivity and occupational deprivation within the home. This project will be match funded by Adult Social Care at ECC; a great example of partnership working.


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      • Together We Grow Connected Communities (20th November 2020): A community led approach, working with adult social care, to deliver outdoor activities with people who have a learning disability and/ or ASD to test and learn the affects gardening has on the sensory needs of individuals. 
      • Carers First (13th November 2020): Carers First secured LDP funding to run Care2Relax online Pilates sessions last month. They will host the first session on Tuesday 1st December at 11am via Zoom.  They have so far engaged with 18 carers and recruited a volunteer to support. 
      • Livability Treetops (13th November 2020): Livability Treetops, which is a high-dependency residential care home providing 24-hour nursing and personal care for adults with disabilities, commenced their in-house trampoline sessions this week following a successful LDP investment earlier this year. This was extremely well received by all participants who had been missing out on their regular sessions at Bounceability since lockdown. These in-house sessions will take place at least twice a week for four or more residents per gathering. 
      • Bangladeshi Women Across Essex (BWAE) (6th November): An update from Bangladeshi Women Across Essex which Colchester funded with a microgrant earlier this year: “I cannot express in words how happy we are to do Zumba and Tai Chi two hours a week. Due to the Covid19 lockdown we cannot get together in a group to do the activities, however we are doing it through Zoom. Some of the ladies do not have computer or IT skills so used to come to my house, but they cannot come now. We are very grateful to Active Essex for the grant and thank you for that. Our session is still on going and many ladies now go for a walk. Everybody now realises the importance of exercise”. 
      • Together we Grow (30th October 2020): Together we Grow have been successful in securing LDP funding to work specifically with young people not in mainstream education and suffering from a range of mental health issues. Participants will work throughout the growing year learning about food production and rural craft all within a few hundred metres of their school. Skills will be developed which will enhance life prospects, including horticulture and landscaping, construction, basic food preparation, and small scale commerce. 
      • Carers First (16th October 2020) :Carers First have been awarded an LDP microgrant to deliver online Pilates sessions for their service users. This application was co-produced with carers, and the delivery mode allows more flexibility and less time constraints. Carers First are also looking to train/upskill a volunteer, carer, or member of staff to deliver future sessions which will reduce ongoing costs. This will include both online and face to face delivery, once social distancing rules permit. Accompanying resource packs aim to improve wellbeing, which is crucial for this client group, especially in the current circumstances. They will incorporate guides to other physical activities, and promote Livewell and the Keep Essex Active YouTube channel.  
      • MS-UK (2nd October 2020) The intention for this project was to deliver face to face exercise sessions in the community to those with MS. Due to the COVID outbreak they had to rethink how they delivered the exercise classes to their clients and established weekly sessions online. This meant they were able to reach more clients, more regularly than initially intended. Feedback from the sessions revealed that those taking part were exercising more frequently than they would if they did not have the resource available. This was due to the increase in motivation to take part in a ‘group’ session and the accessibility of being able to perform exercises at home. Travel is a significant barrier for some of their clients and delivering online doubled the class size they had anticipated for the sessions. More than just the physical benefits the classes have provided to clients, it has been a means for them to stay connected, preventing isolation and the opportunity to get together with familiar faces that would otherwise be impossible. It has also been a great educational tool that has shown clients ways in which they can stay active and manage their symptoms at home, at any time, and independently, that will benefit the individual in the future. 
      • FaNs (2nd October 2020) Similarly, Sarah has been in conversation with Friends and Neighbours (FaNs) about potential re-purposing of their LDP microgrant funding. The team have been busier than ever, and have adapted their Wishing Washing Line to be COVID-friendly. Due to COVID-19 restrictions they are unable to post to physical lines in supermarkets or community spaces at present but they speak by telephone to care homes and ask them to talk to the residents and submit individual resident’s wishes by email. 
      • Muddy Boots Colchester Babes in the Wood (2nd October 2020): 
        • “Lovely session and nice to see other mums” 
        • “Well spaced out, well organised, friendly environment” 
        • “Loved the treasure basket and being out in woods”
        • Babies in the Wood an LDP funded project, has commenced in Highwoods. Some feedback from participants:  
      • Micro grant story- Together We Grow – At Home: Celebration (25th September 2020)  We have just completed a large Covid response project, working with locally primary schools, a sheltered housing provider and Refugee Action – Colchester. The aim was to ensure that very vulnerable individuals often doubly isolated as a result of life circumstances and covid issues had some joy, a reason to get up and a plan for the year…..the only answer plants! We sent out growing packs to 50 house holds and this was the start.  The aim was to have continued weekly contact with all ‘Friends”. We had Friday Tea breaks via zoom, with all participants, School children grouped together, adults grouped together.  We saw peoples growing successes, got shown around gardens, saw people truly grow! 

        We set a date of mid September for a celebration of achievements, a garden party/ Food and plants education session.  Thankfully we could still go ahead due to the vulnerable support groups we had set, and the education and wellbeing focus, plus the numerous community volunteers present (All rule of 6 exceptions!)  

        Our WhatsApp group is hugely active, sharing information amongst fiends.  This is not a one time project as we have learned so much about delivery during lockdown which we will take forward.  We want to ensure we can fund this every year for new cohorts. We funded the project early in lockdown, via the ELDP as a crisis response.  We knew this was the time to step up to the mark and assist.  The ELDP turned funding around in roughly a week. 

      • MS-UK (18th September 2020) Josephs Court is the Essex-based wellness centre for anyone affected by MS, with the aim to support clients maintain their wellbeing and independence. They offer physiotherapy, complementary therapies, and social activities. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of clients and staff, the wellness centre is currently closed, and this includes the LDP-funded project.  However, the team have created some exercise videos to support clients’ activity at home. You can find them on their  You Tube channel. They have also been holding weekly exercise classes and coffee mornings to ensure clients remain active and help reduce the impact of isolation. All sessions take place via Zoom.  
      • CDEM (18th September 2020) CDEM Boaz Project, who were successful in the first tranche of microgrants, are working with the LDP team to repurpose some of their funding to provide activity packs for individuals and families most affected by COVID-19. The physical activity items will consist of mostly indoor and some outdoor items, to promote keeping fit at home, even during the cold winter months. There will be a focus on the residents of Greenstead estate. They already have a great working relationship with local schools and will be working very closely with them to reach some of the most vulnerable and deprived families on the estate. The project will be carried out using only volunteers and they will also involve the Bridgeway Ministry, an organisation working to integrate migrant Kurdish families. As well as promoting a growth in the level of physical activity for individuals and families, this project will also promote unity and cohesion in families.    
      • Colchester United Dementia Friendly Football (18th September 2020) In light of current restrictions, and after some conversations about how safely Colchester United in the Community can deliver these sessions, LDP funded Dementia Friendly Football has been put on hold for the time being as the non-sport part of the sessions is now unable to take place. Something being considered is the possibility of creating a session weekly (online) where participants engage with this cohort around sorting memories to create some social interaction, engagement and stimulation. This would be in addition to, rather than a replacement of, the Dementia Walking Football. 
      • Muddy Boots (11th September 2020):

        Muddy Boots Forest Adventures commenced  their LDP microgrant-funded Babes in the Wood sessions at Highwoods in September. The aim of these sessions is to reduce social isolation felt by new parents, to get outdoors, and take a therapeutic walk through the forest and feel the benefits of being out in nature. The groups are relaxed and informal, with a chance for mother/father and baby to see the Forest School site, explore the Montessori Treasure Baskets while enjoying a beverage and a natter with other like-minded families. Muddy Adventures with Dad have begun, for older children. These LDP-funded child-led sessions include mud kitchens, den building, bug hunting, campfire snacks, nature crafts and bird watching and provide an opportunity for Dads to meet with other local fathers or grandfathers

      • Colchester Borough Council-(August 2020):Activity support packs designed to help improve the physical and mental health of older people who have been isolating were distributed in  Colchester, funded by the LDP. The packs contain practical examples of ways to stay active at home with tailored exercises, along with items to help people take part in physical activity more easily. A Community Enabling Officer from Colchester Borough Council worked with partner organisations which included Arthritis Action, Age Concern, Independent Age,  Community 360, Colchester United, the Community Face Mask Tree group, and Clare Blackwell – a local Pilates Instructor – to produce these packs which target those residents who are not digitally active and who seemed to be the most socially dis-connected, lonely and inactive
      • Colchester Life in the UK (July 2020):This week Colchester Life in the UK who work closely with the Nepalese community shared with us their walking and yoga exercise sessions at Abby fields. Racheal the organiser said ‘the weather almost ruined it but the elderly Nepalese were so determined that we stayed on until after noon. It went well and hopefully we can do this again soon
      • Bangladeshi Women Across Essex (BWAE) (June 2020):After consulting with their participants, community group Bangladeshi Women Across Essex started their LDP-funded Zumba and Tai Chi sessions online via Zoom this week. They are planning to run weekly ladies only Zumba from Monday 22nd June 5pm-6pm and weekly Tai Chi from Tuesday 23rd June 5pm-6pm. The organiser arranged some home visits (whilst maintaining social distancing) to get some participants familiar with using Zoom in order that they can participate
      • Together We Grow At Home (June 2020):Successfully launched last month, following the award of an LDP micro grant. All horticulture packs were allocated within the first two weeks for clients of Refugee Action, Sanctuary Housing, and families of key workers from North and Home Farm Primary School. Director Wayne Setford told us the group engaged in a lively Zoom chat after the showing of videos to inspire and educate them. There is also a WhatsApp group for those who wish to carry on these conversation and form new friendships. These sessions take place weekly on Friday mornings, and the plan is to host a face-to-face gathering for all participants once social distancing and group gathering guidelines allow, where spare produce will be prepared, cooked and shared by all
      • Colchester Life in the UK (March 2020):One of the micro grants from Colchester ‘Elderly exercise’ started their first session in the first week of March 2020. They received an attendance of 25 seniors, 2 facilitators and 3 volunteers. Rachel the organiser gave back feedback and said ‘I’ am happy and grateful for all your support. Sorry couldn’t help myself from letting you know’ 



Bodymove (11th December 2020):

Body moveThe Bodymove web-app has been set-up to provide chair-based exercise to older people in their homes. The classes are designed to build strength, balance, proprioception and overall stability.

Matt Rozier, Project Lead said; “We are really excited to help older people improve their strength, mobility, stability and confidence. We can’t wait to see the first person go from being chair-bound to having the confidence to leave the house and attend community groups. Our app has the potential to make a real impact on the lives of older people and it is a privilege to be able to do that!

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      • Berts Belly Busters (20th September 2020): Cheryl our LDP Coordinator for Tendring attended Berts Belly Busters first outdoor session on Sunday, they had 6 families attend, parent and child and all took part in a bounce session.  I spoke with some of the attendees afterwards who said they loved to be able to take part in an activity with their children, the children and young people said they are looking forward to the next one.  There were even spectators who wanted to join in but because of injury and being pregnant were not able to but they wanted to come along to see what it was like anyway.
      • Feel Good Drumming (20th September 2020): The drumming circle which is now happening outdoors, Monday evening a Sisterhood drumming circle was held on the beach in Walton, one lady who attended has not been one since lockdown and although she struggles with crutches she was determined and took part walking down the slope to where the drumming circle was set up….and of course she had to walk back up again! The drumming was the most activity shes done in a long time.  Other feedback was that they felt totally safe despite being on the beach as the sun set.
      • Walk and Talk 4 Men(20th September 2020):Olly Murs attended the Walk and Talk 4 Men walk on Sunday! James from Walk and Talk 4 Men has been badgering Olly for some time knowing Olly is an Essex lad an a great ambassador for mental health, James tenacity finally paid off and Olly attended the walk.
      • Berts Belly Buster (July 2020):One of the recent approved micro grants, Berts Belly Busters organiser Roberta (Burt) has made some hats for her new Belly Busters when her sessions start. Burt is super excited to be able to start the sessions and help families get active in Walton
      • Walk and Talk for Men (June 2020):James from Walk and Talk 4 Men  has been reaching out to members of his group and offering to meet them for socially distant walks.  One particular guy had gone quiet on their group chat which prompted James to reach out to him fearing his mental health was suffering, James suspicions were true and the guy was struggling……without the support from Walk and Talk 4 Men this guy would still be feeling low and like he had nowhere to turn.  James has also released this week he is now doing 1-2-1 walks 7 days a week!
      • Feel Good Rhythm-(February 2020):Feel Good Rhythm had 33 participants attend their first session with great feedback.“Hi Lisa, I just wanted to thank you for the drumming workshop. My daughter has had a particularly bad couple of days but she came out from this evenings session beaming and exclaimed “I loved that! I really enjoy drumming” (the girl is 12 and has mental health problems)