Onelife Suffolk seek coaches to help those with long-term health conditions

Jade Harrison from OneLife Suffolk hosting online Get Help to Get Active sessions

Jade Harrison from OneLife Suffolk hosting online Get Help to Get Active sessions - Credit: OneLife Suffolk

OneLife Suffolk is seeking sports coaches and instructors to help residents with long-term health conditions get active following the national lockdown. 

This new volunteer scheme is an opportunity for those with a passion for physical activity to support those in the local community who need it most. 

The initiative, which is commissioned by Suffolk County Council, will benefit both OneLife Suffolk clients by encouraging them to try new activities whilst also allowing the volunteers to start delivering sessions again. 

This is after a national survey by Insure 4 Sport revealed 8 in 10 respondents of 981 personal trainers and fitness instructors said they are now training fewer clients because of the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns. 

Tyler Beal from OneLife Suffolk hosting online Get Help to Get Active sessions

OneLife Suffolk are seeking volunteers to help with their new Activator scheme - Credit: OneLife Suffolk

Suffolk FA, Ipswich Town Community Trust and many more clubs and community organisations across the county will be supporting the scheme to find Activator volunteers. 

Activators will also be able to apply for a grant of £200 to put towards the cost of delivering the free sessions. With the hope the scheme will help them generate long-term clients for their fitness classes. 

Marten Payne, operational delivery manager at OneLife Suffolk, said: “We know that becoming physically active can be very challenging, particularly for those living with long-term medical conditions, and we want to be able to offer a more diverse range of activities for Suffolk residents, so they can find something they enjoy that is suitable to their needs.

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“We are also aware that some fitness instructors and sports coaches have struggled to run their classes during the pandemic.

"By volunteering through this scheme, we can help them reach new clients whilst helping the wider Suffolk community get more active. It’s a win-win for all concerned.”

Master Faye Li, an Activator volunteer who has recently hosted online Baduanjin sessions, said: “I have just finished teaching an 8-week Baduanjin online course.

"It has been a wonderful, rewarding experience to help friends and families in our community during this extraordinary time. Many participants say that after doing a session, they sleep better and feel more relaxed, while others found the exercises helped build their confidence."

Any volunteers to the activator scheme will benefit from a one-day training course on how to work with those with long-term health conditions and help them develop an understanding of behavioural change and learn about the health promotion services on offer in the county. 

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