A free Tendring health group for people aged over 50 who want to get fitter and healthier has seen a dramatic rise in participants.
More than 20 people now attend Let’s Keep Moving, a weekly community health group for Clacton residents aged over 50 who want to improve their lifestyles by becoming more active. Less than a handful of people usually turned up to the free and friendly sessions at Brotherhood Community Hall in St Osyth Road when it launched in June 2018.
Let’s Keep Moving has received ongoing support from Active Essex, the Sport and Physical Activity Partnership for Greater Essex, which provides advice as well as access to funding and training to clubs, groups, workplaces and schools.
Lorraine Hughes, project co-ordinator at Let’s Keep Moving, said: “Watching our numbers grow has been absolutely fantastic, as we’re out in the community dealing with people who are trying to get back into exercise but are having problems with illnesses or loneliness.
“Our sessions are very low impact and not strenuous at all – stretching, improving your posture, body conditioning, and fat-burning. Everyone has a great time, they are all feeling and looking better, and always stay for an extra hour to have a chat and socialise.”
Lorraine used different social media channels to promote the club to residents in the Clacton area in conjunction with some more traditional methods such as banners, posters and other advertising materials.
She added: “Many people aged over 50 are on Facebook and a lot of our newcomers saw the adverts pop up on their phones and were delighted to join us. The funding really has been crucial to the fantastic success of Let’s Keep Moving. We have provision for around 35 participants and I’m sure we’ll reach full capacity over the coming months.”
Other participants have been referred to the group by their GPs, such as one heavy smoker who was determined to kick the habit with Lorraine’s help. “He has really improved and can now do many of the exercises,” she said.
Lorraine also cited the group’s social benefits as a key attraction, saying: “Some don’t get to see a lot of people during the week. They feel a bit depressed because they’re lonely and think ‘what’s the point of looking after my fitness?’, but joining the group, working together and making friends has really motivated them.”
Jason Fergus, Director, Active Essex commented: “Working with groups such as Let’s Keep Moving and seeing the difference that it makes to the local community is hugely rewarding. Our ambition is to change 1 million lives by getting Essex active, and this is a fantastic example of how the right support can really benefit individuals now and in the future.”
For more information about Let’s Keep Moving, please visit https://www.activeessex.org/lets-keep-moving-clacton