Plans voiced for active adults scheme to be rolled out further
Bosses behind a new three-year project to get older people active and reduce feelings of loneliness are hopeful it can be rolled out further in the county.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils have partnered with Suffolk Sport for the scheme, called Active Wellbeing, which launched last month.
Currently it has been focused on work with the Fressingfield and Stradbroke Medical Centre in Mid Suffolk and the Long Melford and Lavenham Practice in Babergh, but plans are in the pipeline for it to be rolled out further across the two districts if successful.
Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk cabinet member for communities, said: “Our councils’ vision is to support, encourage and inspire our communities to be more active. Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference as rising obesity levels put more adults at risk of ill health.
“We encourage our residents that can to get involved with the Active Wellbeing programme and increase their activity.”
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A council spokesman added: “If the project is successful we hope it will move out to more areas.”
The project is particularly targeted at older adults and those who do not take part in regular activity, with those behind the project highlighting the social and health benefits.
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Research highlighted by the Active Wellbeing scheme revealed that physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia by up to 30%, hip fractures by up to 68% and depression by up to 30%.
The project currently works with the two GP practices to develop partnerships with community groups such as the parish councils, local churches and Women’s Institute groups, which will establish new activity sessions and offer advice on options available.
Ben Jackson from Suffolk Sport said: “Suffolk Sport is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people across Suffolk, inspiring everyone to be more active.
“Working with GP surgeries in rural areas, we can support staff and patients and create more active communities.”
Babergh cabinet member for communities, Margaret Maybury, added: “This is a great partnership that supports our goal to encourage people who live and work in Babergh and Mid Suffolk to lead more active and socially inclusive lives.”