Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

Based in the Liverpool community of Toxteth, we are a not for profit social enterprise finding new and better ways to engage greater numbers of older people in exercise. We do this because as we get older we all gradually lose strength and power in our muscles and bones, but - as research shows - this is preventable and reversible, and exercise "can contribute to successful ageing and a healthier, active later life” (Age UK, 2017). Inactivity amongst older people can cause physical and mental ill health and social isolation. Our exercise projects get older people active so they enjoy a better quality of life.

As an experienced team of physical activity professionals and volunteers we provide creative approaches to exercise that are sensitive to the needs and abilities of older people. We find ways to remove the barriers preventing older people from participating in exercise, and help people who are isolated join in, and make new friends. Some of our projects include 'Active Bingo', a bingo based exercise class that we deliver in residential care homes, and 'Sports Day' where older people get to compete in all those games we enjoyed as children - proving you're never too old to have fun (and exercise!). Now we would like to develop our cycling project so that more older people can access the benefits that cycling can provide.

Cycling is a great activity to keep you fit and healthy and a great way to get out and about - to see friends or to enjoy the many great places that are close by. But if you don't feel safe and lack the confidence to go cycling, or you've never ridden a bicycle before (as is the case for some older people), or you simply don't have a bicycle, then as an older person you may be unable to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of cycling. We have developed our cycle project to remove these barriers. We have piloted our project using Liverpool Councils free bike facilities in our beautiful local parks, finding out what works best for people who want to have a go. Over 30 people are already taking part in the pilot sessions and - to help us further - we have been gifted 14 bikes with all the safety clothing and equipment. So - if you'll excuse the pun - we're now ready to roll out the project fully.

We have called our project 'Cycle Safari' because it is all about being able to get around and journey outdoors - in safe areas and places of interest - in and around Liverpool. Our project caters for all abilities, with rides for absolute beginners, intermediate and experienced riders, and for people with health problems, including people with dementia. The project will provide more than 50 older people with the opportunity to go on a cycling journey once a week. The rides will be led by our experienced and qualified instructors and the project will give everybody the chance to progress, so that beginners are able to ride with greater confidence and more experienced riders can - if they choose to - become qualified ride leaders. With your help to fund this project we can deliver Cycle Safari and help older people to participate in exercise, to improve their health and wellbeing and develop their social connections - to make a real difference in the lives of older people in our community.

Healthiness

Location: Toxteth Town Hall, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Since we started in 2011 we have helped
more than 1,500 older people participate in exercise. It is a great privilege to bring health benefits to people in our community and to see people really enjoying themselves. We are immensely proud of the achievements of all the people who have taken part.
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