Senior Spireites exercise sessions proving to be popular

The Senior Spireites exercise sessions are proving to be popular with Wednesday sessions running at maximum capacity with 45 attendees, and Friday sessions seeing increasing numbers each week.

The sessions, which are open to anyone over the age of 55, involve chair-based exercise as well as social activities such as bingo.

Olly Parkinson, who runs the sessions, said: “I think the benefits of it are that it clearly gets people out of the house.

“We had one lady come to us about two weeks ago who said that from the session the week before, she hadn’t seen one person until she came to the next session.

“For me, the main thing is tackling the isolation, although obviously there are exercise benefits as well. 

“A lot of people do come because we advertise it as an exercise class, so they initially come for the exercise, but they’ll meet new people and get other things out of it such as trips which are included without paying any extra.

“So, whenever we go on a trip, we don’t get them to pay, we’ll do some sort of charity event to raise the money.”

Rob & Lynne Bonewell are a couple who have now been attending the sessions for over 12 months and have seen the benefits of both the physical and social sides of the sessions.

Rob said: “Our daughter told us there was a lot going on and we’d benefit from coming, so we did.

“I was a bit sceptical at first, but I wish we’d joined earlier because it’s actually brilliant. I was sceptical of the chair-based exercise as I’d never done it, but I don’t regret it at all.

“Olly and Oli bounce each off each other so well, they make it fun, and we tend to make it fun as well.”

Lynne added: “The guys that run it are brilliant. We join in with the banter. You get to play bingo, chat and have a cup of tea.

“We get trips out, days to the seaside. We don’t miss the sessions; we’ve even come back from holiday for them!”

Brenda Clark, who has attended the sessions since they first started, urged people who may be isolated to come along.

She said: “Come along, if you come for one week it’s free. Come and try it and if you don’t like it you don’t have to come again. It’s worth a try.

“I’ve been on quite a few trips. We used to go to Wentworth Garden Centre, we’ve been on boat trips, and recently we’ve been to Bakewell, Chatsworth and we’re going to Cleethorpes next.”

Senior Spireites sessions take place in the HUB on Wednesdays, from 1-3pm, and Fridays, from 3.30-5pm. 

The Wednesday group is currently full, however there is space available in the Friday group. There is no booking required – just turn up.

For more information, please email: wellbeing@spireitestrust.org.uk or phone: 07840 843480.