Investment theme: Improving health and well-being
Keeping healthy and active and making friends
Access to affordable exercise classes locally is vital in allowing older women to remain active and indeed to improve their physical health by overcoming conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. Classes also combat isolation and loneliness and improve mental health.
Linwood Healthy Living Group is an example of how we have been able to assist such work by providing a grant of £1150 in 2010, then a grant of £1500 in 2016 . The group was established in 2008 to deliver physical activity sessions and healthy living advice to women over 50 in the Linwood area. Our first grant helped them in their early stages providing one class weekly and our later grant was to sustain their expanded twice a week programme. Exercise sessions were delivered on a Tuesday and Thursday, with more advanced instruction for those able to participate. The group had social activities during holidays to provide recreation and opportunities to create friendships and social networks.
As a group member noted
“The fitness trainer, Kenny Macdonald tailors classes to suit our age group, We added three new members. 84 per cent of our members are over 70, and 56% are living alone. 60% are widows. So the social aspect is as important as the exercise, and Kenny’s corny jokes bring laughter and repartee.”
The benefits to physical health were also important
“Myself, I have reversed diabetes2 . I’m presently off Metformin and waiting on blood results to see if I can come off Gliclacide . Our Chair person has survived bowel cancer and extensive surgery. Many members have arthritis and benefit from stretching exercises.”
Although the group finally closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and issues with their premises, there is no doubt that it made a significant difference to the lives of the women involved for the 12 years of its life and the Women’s Fund for Scotland played an important part in that.
Find the pin on our grant map here
If you’d like to help groups like these across Scotland – with the help of the Women’s Fund for Scotland, please get in touch with Shona Blakeley, Executive Director by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org