The Ever Active programme in West Berkshire features a consortium of charities led by Get Berkshire Active (the County Sports and Physical Activity Partnership) who, together with; Age UK, Alzheimers Society, West Berkshire Mencap, Berkshire Vision and the Newbury Community Resource Centre deliver a programme targeting older adults and disabled adults whilst seeking to tackle social isolation and loneliness.
The Ever Active programme is funded by West Berkshire Council and has recently celebrated its first birthday. So far this programme has engaged over 700 adults in a range of physical and social activities and services including; yoga, new age bowls, community food growing, home visits and tai chi. The programme is open to anyone over the age of 50 and adults of any age with a disability, living in West Berkshire. It was introduced to help provide accessible, social opportunities for residents that might be prone to experiencing social isolation and loneliness.
This is the first time these charities have worked together on a project. Kirsty Heath, Senior Partnership Manager from Get Berkshire Active said
We have found this partnership to be positive, each charity involved has contributed valuable expertise and services meaning the breadth of the project is much greater than it would have been had we worked in isolation. It has improved our knowledge of each of the charities and means we can cross-refer and signpost individuals to one another’s services.
One particularly popular activity is New Age Bowls, a simpler, social, gentle version of the sport. This activity has been introduced at The Lambourn Centre, situated within a rural part of West Berkshire. One of the participants, Phil, a wheelchair user, explains,
I really look forward to our Monday bowls in Lambourn every week. It's a great chance to get out of the house and have fun. It gives my wife a couple of hours break from caring for me. I can do it just the same as everyone else and my wheelchair is ignored.
If you think you or someone you know might be suitable for this programme please contact Get Berkshire Active on 01628 472851 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Get Berkshire Active