Fit For Life

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Fit for Life supported the physical and emotional wellbeing of a group of older people in the heart of a South London community.

Fit for Life was run in coordination with the tenants’ and residents’ association of Lansdowne Green Estate in Stockwell. It was funded by grant from the London Community Foundation. The Aim of the project was to increase mobility and independence by providing a movement class that helps with the prevention of trips and falls.

The weekly group was a focal point for the local community where friendships and connections could develop and be made. This helped people with reducing isolation and provided older people with a local support network

Over 40 sessions were delivered with 32 people over 55 attending.

The project addressed four of the Five Ways to Wellbeing:
  • ‘Connect’, by bringing residents together, with a focus on those who were isolated as a result of trips or falls
  • ‘Be active’, through the provision of fun, dance and movement classes
  • ‘Keep learning’, participants learned how to manage their balance and stability using dance, physical stretches and chair based exercise. Participants continued their learning by practising the exercises and stretches at home
  • ‘Give’, the project created a support network between the participants, who began assisting each other with shopping, collecting prescriptions from the pharmacy and having regular contact by phone or personal visits.  
 

Case Study: I's story

Fit-for-Life-3.jpg‘I’ is an 84 year old resident of the estate who uses a zimmer frame and walking stick to get around.

At first, she wasn't interested in attending the project but was persuaded to come for a trial session. ‘I’ felt she wouldn't be able to keep up with the others because she struggles to bend her knees and couldn't touch her toes. She started off with chair based exercises at her own pace.

The instructor offered lots of encouragement and gave some one to one instruction on exercises to do at home. After six months, she was able to balance without any help and has stopped using her zimmer frame completely, relying only on her walking stick. She is now able to bend and can even touch her toes!