Levelling Up Health and Wellbeing

Zumba Gold

Reducing social isolation through low impact movement

The Mercury Theatre in Colchester offers weekly sessions of fun, low-impact movement to a group of mixed ability residents aged 55+.

The incentive offered older residents who have been impacted by social isolation and the cost-of-living crisis, a chance to improve their physical and mental welling through free Zumba sessions.

AE Whos it for
Who's it for?
Senior residents aged 55+ who are registered disabled
AE Prime
Prime objective:
to support older people in increasing their physical & mental wellbeing
AE Second
Second objective:
to reduce social isolation and increase opportunities for seniors

Participants didn’t want to attend a gym or other classes, as they felt intimidated due to their age and fitness levels. The class is set at an introductory level with a range of repetition exercises and is accessible for all participants to ensure the feel comfortable when taking part. The instructor sets different levels of modification and encourages the seniors to take it at their own pace. Having a café on site allows seniors to socialise after each class due to residents feeling isolated and their social life has declined since the pandemic.

of residents said the sessions positively impacted their mental health and wellbeing
of participants said that the course has positively impacted their physical health and fitness levels
rise in capacity since offering bursary places meaning most classes each week are full

Through Find Your Active funding, the sessions have been able to offer physical activity sessions for seniors who struggle to afford classes. The social element also had high importance, with friendships formed and acquaintances with other members of the group. Through additional funding from Community 360 for those on bursary places from Active Essex, free, light refreshments were offered in the onsite café after classes to reduce social isolation and food poverty barriers.

Thank you so much for arranging the Zumba bursary place for me. It has meant I have been able to attend every week and I feel my health and fitness level have really benefited. The Zumba class is great fun and Ellen, the teacher, makes it easy to follow and is really enthusiastic. The facilities at the Mercury Theatre are excellent and all the staff are very friendly and helpful. I spend a lot of time looking after my grown-up daughter who has a chronic illness, and it has been really nice to be able to socialise with the other members of the class.