Older people living in Durham’s villages are literally having a ‘knees-up’ with funding from one of the north east’s largest affordable housing providers.
More than 35 older people in Brandon, Langley Moor, Meadowfield, Nevilles Cross and New Brancepeth now have fortnightly access to specialist ‘gentle’ exercise sessions thanks to funding from believe housing.
The gentle exercise classes are part of the volunteer run ‘Tuesday Club’, which takes place at St Andrews Methodist Church in Brandon. Older people from the surrounding villages are brought to the church by volunteers to allow them to take part.
The club was created to help tackle loneliness and depression by providing a venue for friends, old and new, to chat over a cup of tea and take part in craft activities.
believe housing has provided £500 through its ‘believe housing community grant’ programme to support the introduction of fortnightly gentle exercise sessions. The exercises are specially designed to help older people feel more confident with everyday tasks as well as keeping fit.
The funding allows an expert tutor to visit the Tuesday Club to lead the sessions, which include chair-based exercise and use of soft items such as bean bags rather than weights.
believe housing Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “The volunteers who run the Tuesday Club are so dedicated to improving the lives of older people in the area. Helping them to expand the exercise sessions they offer is clearly making an immediate difference.
“It’s exactly the kind of grass roots community initiative we love to support through our believe housing community grant programme.”
Tuesday Club volunteer, Peter Hall, said: “Grants like this allow us to do activities which have such a beneficial effect on the confidence of everyone who attends that it is difficult to put into words their appreciation.”
The application process for ‘believe housing community grant’ has been kept deliberately simple and funding decisions will be made monthly to ensure local groups are not waiting for lengthy periods to find out if they have been successful.
Full details of the believe housing community grant scheme are available here.