Our Gateshead

Move to Improve week (March 2017)

Remaining physically active in older age may offer opportunities for maintaining or increasing independence. Daily routines involving walking to local shops may mean less reliance on others while at the same time promoting social and community interaction as well as combating social isolation. Physical activity helps to improve emotional and mental well- being and is associated with reduced symptoms of depression.

Working with the Gateshead Housing Company and all 38 Sheltered Accommodation Schemes across Gateshead, Neighbourhood Management & Volunteering delivered a “Move to Improve” week from Monday 20th March – Sunday 26th March 2017 with the main aim of improving the physical and mental health of residents as well as combating social isolation by developing key links between schemes.

The week long programme encouraged the development of individual activities by working with the Sheltered Accommodation Scheme Officers and responding to the needs of the residents.

A full online programme of events was promoted throughout the period leading up to and during the delivery of the week. This was also open to all members of the public.  Scheme officers continuously promoted the events at the start of each day and asked for as many residents as possible to declare events that they would like to take part in.  Transport issues were also worked through and officers worked across schemes to enable attendance by all. 

Gateshead Leisure activities were also encouraged with free swimming sessions provided on set days throughout the week.

Some activities included: Bingo sessions, CPR Training, Fire Service awareness sessions, knitting groups (including a huge project to knit as many blankets for Babies ITU at QE hospital & Twiddle toys for dementia patients), men’s health groups, Bocia league games, gardening projects and health talks amongst a whole range of other activities that residents identified for themselves.   Included below are some photographs of the activities as they were delivered. 

Organisations such as Thrive and Tyne & Wear Archives attended the schemes to deliver activities with the residents.  Photos are included below. 

The programme relied upon volunteers to be delivered successfully and has encouraged further involvement from residents and volunteers as a follow on.

In total the week long programme offered 187 activities which 1,720 people took part in.

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