The project was set up in an attempt to reduce isolation in older people and also improve their quality of life which had been affected by loneliness and the rising cost of living.
Created to bring people together in an inclusive environment, Fit4All also provide practical information for older people on how to shop healthily on a budget and how to exercise safely but effectively.
Improvement in fitness levels has been an important driving force for this group and they follow a programme as a group. This includes circuit training, core stability, boxercise, aerobics, stretching and light weight training, which has led to an improvement in resilience in many different ways.
This project was supported through Active Essex and the Find Your Active campaign which provided the necessary funding. The funding enabled the group leaders to hold the sessions for free which meant the service was accessible to all the older community members. Going forward, the project would like similar funding to be able to extend and run a Spring and Summer programme.
Fit4All welcomes anyone over the age of 50 in the Epping Forest District and was able to accommodate members that were recovering from injury or health conditions as the environment was safe and structured which allowed them to rebuild.
The social element has been important to the members, as many live alone and have benefitted from this interaction. Participants have had the chance to interact with each other but with no pressure to do so if they’re not comfortable. The location for the programme was important because the members needed to be able to travel to the class on their own, so the facilities location was a great success in attracting as many attendees as possible.
When conducting feedback, the director reported that one of the biggest positive outcomes was the practical education they were able to provide to the older people regarding shopping and cooking healthily in the current cost of living crisis. The members also stated that they were able to take this important information away with them and apply it to their day-to-day routine and practices.