Voluntary Action Epping Forest
Fun and Fitness Activities with ACE
The delivery of free fun & fitness sessions to marginalised groups of clients, including new participants, who have a mild to severe learning disability or mental health condition.
These sessions were designed to address some of the low levels of physical activity within the community, by improving their general fitness and their mental wellbeing. Delivered in a fun and social environment, personal technology aids really helped motivate and drive this group of individuals to become more physically active.
Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF), a voluntary organisation based in Epping wished to run a new initiative based on the physical deconditioning and decline in personal health and wellbeing that their clients experienced following the Covid-19 pandemic. Sessions were targeted at clients with learning disability such as autism spectrum or mental health conditions.
By thinking outside of the box, they have had a marked impact on the participants health and wellbeing, using a diverse range of fun sports activities tailored to their needs. VAEF have seen a marked improvement in a short while on participants fitness and coordination.
VAEF are a charity and as such have to charge for many of their services. As a result, the cost of a physical activity session has in the past been a barrier. The funding from Active Essex, Find Your Active grant alleviated this challenge and attracted participation for some of their clients who traditionally shy away from physical activity.
Unfortunately Sally and her team at VEAF faced an uphill battle trying to source an inclusive venue with the availability to offer a regular booking. Thankfully Grange Farm Centre stepped in to offer their football facilities and hall. This demonstrates the collaborative working between locally trusted organisations which has ultimately had a fantastic impact on the local community who are living with mild to severe learning disability or mental health conditions in Epping Forest.Rachel Lewis, Active Essex Relationship Manager for West Essex