TouchPoint are an inclusive group that bring together the local community in West Essex, and multiple provisions have been set up to support local residents. She’s Ready and Chair Yoga have been established to provide individuals with a safe space to get moving and try an activity they may not have previously had access to.
Funded through the Find Your Active Small Grants, thanks to London Marathon Foundation, following Ford RideLondon-Essex 2023, Active Essex were able to build upon existing relationships set up with TouchPoint to further develop their delivery. As a result they have been able to support residents with a positive physical activity experience, within a community setting. TouchPoint recognised that in order to engage with the community, it was important to raise awareness and reach as many people as possible.
She’s Ready is a female empowerment programme that supports women to be more active in their community, by offering weekly fitness sessions which involved yoga, bootcamps and running. Not only has this project provided opportunities to get active, they have introduced member evenings allowing residents to gain important information about topics such as menopause and pelvic floor exercises. By educating these individuals on how to utilise movement they have better understood ways in which physical activity can aid symptoms.
Chair Yoga is an initiative aimed at older residents who are less physically able. Movements include strength based exercises from a chair, whilst also enjoying a group class environment. After the class, similar to many TouchPoint activities, there is an opportunity to have a refreshment and chat with others.
These classes have allowed residents to build confidence in terms of both their physical ability and social interactions. This has benefited their physical and mental wellbeing, and meeting others outside of the class has also helped to embed them further into the community, motivating them to practice new exercises.