Mission to get Stockport’s most at risk fit and strong amid COVID fight

Mission to get Stockport’s most at risk fit and strong amid COVID fight

Life Leisure has been helping the town’s most vulnerable residents get fighting fit in the battle against COVID. 

The leisure provider, which runs 13 leisure centres across Stockport and Barrow, has created a hundred activity packs and developed a programme which has been delivered to care homes across the town, as well as to individuals who need help recovering from the virus.

The packs have been created as part of the Stockport Moving Together campaign, funded by Stockport Council and Sport England, which aims to ensure those most at risk of COVID are encouraged to be in the best health possible to beat the illness.

Stockport Moving Together, which was launched in September 2020 and forms part of the broader One Stockport campaign, is a joint initiative between the Council, GPs and Primary Care in Stockport, Stockport CCG, Stepping Hill NHS Foundation Trust and Life Leisure.

Participating organisations work closely together to identify and deliver projects that will support those recovering from COVID and build resilience in the fight against the virus.

Ross McGuigan, Active Communities Manager at Life Leisure, came up with the idea for the packs along with Michelle Childs, Health Development Manager, with the Stockport Moving Together team providing additional expertise and support to ensure benefits were maximised.

Mr McGuigan said: “We are encouraging residents to see the value and wide-ranging benefits of keeping active.

“Our centres are currently closed due to the lockdown, but we continue to support the most at risk in the community with Zoom classes, one-to-one sessions in parks, and the activity packs, which are supported by online videos and include pedal exercises to encourage movement even when watching TV.

“We can’t go into the care homes to lead activities so we hope these activity packs will help to help mitigate any areas of decline that may result from the lockdown and social isolation.”

Care homes which have so far benefitted include Wellcroft in Gatley, Shepley House in Hazel Grove, Reinbek in Davenport, Bryn Haven in Brinnington, Lisburne Court in Woodbank, and Marbury House in Reddish.

Packs have also been delivered to residents who are recovering from the virus and have been referred by their physician.

Tom Curtis, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist on the Medical & Surgical Team at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, is in support of the scheme. He said: “Both in hospital and in the community we have seen that people who have Covid-19 have a wide variety of symptoms, some of which can be longer-lasting. These can often include generalised weakness, breathlessness, fatigue and issues affecting psychological wellbeing.  Starting some exercise with the support of Stockport Moving Together can be a great way of helping some of these problems”

Councillor Jude Wells, Cabinet Member for Adult Care & Health, added: “Stockport Moving Together is about enabling people to get moving more, reduce sedentary lifestyles and the burden inactivity can place on our community as we build back better.

“It’s great to see Life Leisure continuing to support the programme throughout the pandemic, at a time when it is needed the most.”

Life Leisure is hoping to continue to support residents with Winter Welfare Packs, which will create positive habits for older adults, tackle social isolation and loneliness, and improve their physical and emotional wellbeing.

The leisure provider also continues to support Stockport’s PARiS (Physical Activity Referral in Stockport) and SMILE (Simple Movements Improve Life Everyday) schemes through online sessions, which work in tandem with GPs and the NHS and provides residents with low impact and gentle exercise.

To benefit from Life Leisure’s movement for health programmes you must be referred by your GP or hospital or individuals can self-refer via the website. Enquiries for the physical activity packs can be emailed to gpreferral@lifeleisure.net.

For more information go to www.lifeleisure.net.

For more information about One Stockport, visit https://www.onestockport.co.uk/

For more information on how to establish healthy habits, visit https://www.healthystockport.co.uk/

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