Brendoncare Clubs, run by Winchester-based charity, The Brendoncare Foundation, in conjunction with The University of Southampton, has launched a number of virtual physical activity classes for Brendoncare members across Hampshire and Dorset.
The University of Southampton has been working closely with Brendoncare Clubs to provide an exercise programme for club members. The exercise classes are being delivered by Brendoncare volunteers who have been trained by a team from The University of Southampton, and involves gentle seated movements designed to improve strength, flexibility and well-being.
How does the program work?
The programme is part of the ImPACt study: Improving physical activity of older people in the community through trained volunteers. This study is funded by the National Institute of Health Research Applied Research Collaboration Wessex and has been submitted to the University of Southampton’s research ethics committee for approval.
Dr Stephen Lim, a doctor at The University of Southampton, specialising in the Care of Older People with an interest in improving the health of older people and leading on the programme, said,
“This study aims to see if we can train volunteers to encourage older adults to exercise in a group. We also want to know if this is acceptable to them, and their family members. We will see if the exercises have an impact on the health of those taking part.”
Sam Agnew, Head of Brendoncare Clubs, said,
“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Dr Stephen Lim on this project and would like to thank him and his team for allowing Brendoncare to be involved in the study. Feedback from our Club members has been very positive and we are looking forward to increasing the number of virtual clubs as more volunteers are trained to deliver the course.
Feedback from our volunteers has been encouraging, they say that it is giving them a real sense of purpose and achievement. They have really enjoyed the training and are finding it fun to practise the instructing!
The virtual sessions will give us some good information about how we deliver exercise in both virtual and community clubs in the future, to help improve the well-being of our members.”
About Brendoncare Clubs
Brendoncare Clubs is a well-established and trusted community service, offering a vital lifeline in Hampshire and Dorset, through friendship and well-being clubs across 40 locations during the week and over the weekend. The Clubs have been temporarily closed since March 2020 and with many members living alone, Brendoncare has been helping to maintain the positive connections and friendships they enjoy through their regular clubs. The virtual physical activity classes are another way of members being involved and connected with others.