Levelling Up Health and Wellbeing

Active with Parkinson’s

The Power of Physical Activity for those living with Parkinson’s

Active with Parkinson’s aims to improve mobility and the wellbeing of patients who live with Parkinson’s. This project was in direct repose to the Covid-19 pandemic and hoped to see the return of face-to-face delivery in Lt Easton Memorial Hall, Uttlesford.

Active With Parkinson's, Uttlesford, was established three years ago to meet a gap in provision of exercise classes. The organisation works closely with health professionals and provides support to family members, and their work has been recognised in the community. Although independently funded, they work in association with Parkinson's UK and the local support group in Saffron Walden.


Group 1
Who's it for?
People living with Parkinson’s
Goal 1
Prime Objective:
to improve mobility and wellbeing
Goal 2
Second Objective:
to help reduce social isolation

The activity sessions include a range of low impact exercises, that suit the participants needs. Aerobics, strength training, balance, agility, and flexibility movements help to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s so that individuals can continue to do the things they have to do and love to do. It has been found that people living with Parkinson’s who start exercising earlier, with a minimum of 2.5 hours a week, experience a slowed decline in quality of life, compared to those who start later. Establishing early physical activity habits, is essential to overall disease management

sessions open to anyone living with Parkinson’s in the Uttlesford area
GP practices were encouraged to signpost patients to the group

By applying for the Active Essex Find Your Active Fund, the organisation was able to increase their reach by targeting and promoting classes through local GP practices and other health professionals in Uttlesford. This resulted in their community gaining several new members, therefore supporting more people living with Parkinson’s.

Prior to the pandemic, members had the use of both small and large items of equipment positioned around the hall. Each member now has an individual workstation where they remain throughout the class and bring their own small items of equipment e.g. weights, soft ball, stretch band and a drink. It works well and ensures the members feel safe when coming to a class.

Since returning to face-to-face delivery, the group still decided to keep the Zoom class on Thursday afternoons, as it benefits those who do not have transport or feel able to attend. This allowed the group to reach more people in rural localities and patients living in neighbouring districts such as Chelmsford and Braintree.

The recent filming demonstrates the commitment and effort each group member puts into the exercise classes, despite their differing physical circumstances. Whilst there is no cure for this long-term condition, regular exercise and meeting other sufferers of Parkinson's offers huge benefits to their physical, mental health and general wellbeing. Active Essex couldn’t be prouder to continue to support this invaluable project.
Rachel Lewis, Relationship Manager for West Essex
Rachel Lewis