Older people living at a supported housing development in Hackney, which is owned by Hanover Housing Association, are staying fit and healthy after the retirement housing provider joined forces with Leyton Orient Trust to provide exercise and wellbeing classes for residents.
The new initiative at Averley Court is largely thanks to Support Assistant Tunde Adams who spotted a flyer for a football reminiscence event before coming up with the idea of working with the Football League Two club in East London.
After receiving interest from the charity and community arm of the football club, the residents of Averley Court have been treated to 12 weeks of physical activity from professional fitness instructors. The exercise classes have been specially tailored for older people and include Boccia (a form of precision bowling), armchair Olympics, chair-based exercises and even armchair volleyball.
Averley Court’s oldest resident, 96 year-old resident Siyka Diamitrova said: “Since starting the exercise classes I have noticed a huge improvement in my mobility. The classes are great fun and have allowed me to make some new friends and catch up with some old ones.”
Dr Stuart Burgess ,Chair Hanover Housing Association said: “At Hanover, we celebrate the positive benefits of an active lifestyle in later years every single day.
“We are delighted to be involved with this fantastic initiative and look forward to working with Leyton Orient on other initiatives in the near future.”
Phillip Smith, Head of Health and Wellbeing for Leyton Orient Trust said:
“We’re pleased to be working alongside Hanover to deliver our Extra Time programme to residents. It’s extremely important to keep active as you age to help support and maintain a healthy lifestyle and so it’s great to see so many residents accessing the activities, keeping physically active whilst having fun and making new friends too!
“After seeing the success in Averley Court we’re keen to work with Hanover to see how we can roll the programme out to other Hanover properties across East London in the near future too.”