As part of our mission to encourage everyone to move more each day, we continue to develop and expand our programme of activities for older people in the Lewes District, assisting as many people as possible to keep active in later life. We now have 44 weekly timetabled sessions specifically designed for older people, from gentle functional fitness classes such as Chair Based exercise and Strength and Balance (Falls prevention) to higher intensity sports such as Walking Football, which has seen a 35.5% increase in participation since last year. Another Walking Sport, Walking Netball, was recently introduced to our timetable and has seen 151 attendances from 39 women aged 50 or over since January. Read more about our Walking Netball sessions, run by Wave Volunteer Fran, here.
Our Health Walks remain popular, both as a means to get active at a gentle pace and to socialise with a like-minded group. Health Walk groups starting in Seaford will often meet up in Café Wave and socialise before or after the walk, making the walks as much of a social gathering as a physical activity. Regular walks in Seaford, Lewes and Peacehaven are delivered by our volunteer Walk Leaders and are free to participate in. The popularity of these walks has seen 2,271 attendances over the last year. You can find our Health Walk times and join your local walk here.
We have also worked with the South Downs National Park Authority to deliver 27 additional walks exploring the South Downs National Park from Newhaven, Peacehaven and Seaford. Incorporating scenic views and facts about the area from the Walk Leaders, these walks allow for small groups and one on one engagement, encouraging more participants to enjoy walking as a physical activity. This new project, which is funded by SDNPA and delivered as part of an East Sussex County Council project, Active Access for Growth funded by the Department for Transport, has seen 38 attendances. These special walks are running throughout the summer until September and include shorter Health Walks and longer Rural Rambles for those really wanting to explore. Find our South Downs Health Walks here.
As well as dedicated classes and activities, we also run weekly Senior Gym and Senior Swim sessions across our centres. These sessions allow participants to enjoy our state-of-the-art facilities in a low-pressure atmosphere, perfect for those with low confidence or who are beginners looking to try something new. Our Senior Gym sessions feature an expert Fitness Instructor who is on hand to offer guidance and advice about all aspects of the gym. In addition to our activities in centre, we also run a programme of sessions delivered at other venues, ensuring those who don't live near a Wave centre don’t miss out on such programmes.
The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust works closely with Wave to deliver Postural Stability Instruction (PSI) classes in the community.
“We have developed a good working relationship with Wave and currently have four joint classes running,” says Carole Crathern, Service Manager for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. “Wave has been instrumental in delivering these successful classes and has developed follow on classes for clients that have finished the programme to ensure they have a suitable class to go to when they are discharged. We have regular meetings with Wave and have been impressed by their positive and supportive attitude.”
“For clients who are unsuitable or unable to attend and/or benefit from the group PSI programme, we can deliver home PSI exercise programmes, in line with the Otago programme,” Carole continues.“Clients are provided with a home exercise booklet and advised to practice at home between sessions and complete a home exercise diary.”
“The purpose of the PSI class is to increase strength, balance, co-ordination, functional ability & confidence and ultimately to reduce the likelihood of falls. Clients attend the free class once a week for 17 weeks and exercise under the supervision of a qualified postural stability instructor. They are also given exercises to practice at home between classes. All clients have a multi-factorial falls assessment by an ESHT clinician before starting the group to ensure they are suitable. Classes are run in conjunction with local Leisure Centres. The programme provides a safe and effective individually prescribed group exercise programme for up to 12 clients. At the end clients are assessed and encouraged to attend follow-on classes.”
Expanding and developing our programme of senior activities has led to 42,579 attendances at our sessions designed for older people in 2018/19, an increase of 12.5% from last year. By increasing the variety of classes we offer and reaching more communities, we are helping more people to engage with physical and social activities and keep active in later life.
If you’re interested in any of our activities and sessions for older people, you can find more information here.
You can read more stories about the people behind Wave in our Impact Report, here.