ITV news has reported on a community initiative by Your Leisure which is tackling loneliness
Ageless Thanet Wellbeing Programme Manager, Ian Barker, said: “This is a significant news story that reflects the success Your Leisure are having on a local, regional and national scale in respect of its work in the community in reaching the most isolated and inactive. This story is the product of some joined up working by our organisation.
“It first started with our Managing Director Kevin Fordham having the belief in the difference a leisure trust can make in its community, combined with the awareness of funding and partnership working.
“He successfully put together an application which enabled us to be a significant partner in the Big Lottery Fund’s Ageing Better project, known locally as Ageless Thanet. This led to the expansion of our community team, which led to significant joined up working with many local like-minded partners, but also stronger links for our harder to reach communities with our leisure and hospitality venues.
“Within the project plan was to open the Ageless Thanet Feelgood factory, which you see in the news article. This is a venue on the high street which has power assisted exercise equipment at its heart, with community space, which allows many other activities/services to be offered, from belly dancing, photography, ukulele, sewing, British Sign language, to IT help to name a few.
“We have had significant success in reducing social isolation and loneliness and improving quality of life, physical and mental wellbeing. This has been mainly due to the community feel to the venue and non-physical activities leading to physical and vice-versa.”