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Norwich-based Cotman Housing Association takes part in project to motivate senior citizens into exercising more

Residents taking part in gardening as part of a The Still On The Go project to get older people moving more over the next three years. Picture: Places for People

Residents taking part in gardening as part of a The Still On The Go project to get older people moving more over the next three years. Picture: Places for People

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Getting older people moving is the goal of a Sport England project being piloted by a Norwich-based housing provider.

Jane Warnes, managing director of Cotman Housing Association, which has become one of the first registered providers of social housing to receive National Lottery funding from Sport England�s Active Ageing fund. Picture: Courtesy of Places for People Jane Warnes, managing director of Cotman Housing Association, which has become one of the first registered providers of social housing to receive National Lottery funding from Sport England�s Active Ageing fund. Picture: Courtesy of Places for People

Cotman Housing Association has become one of the first registered providers of social housing to receive National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Active Ageing fund.

The £250,000 grant will fund a Still On The Go project to get 500 older people moving more over the next three years.

Jane Warnes, Cotman’s managing director, said: “As a provider of sheltered housing and older peoples’ outreach services, we will use our expertise to engage with older people experiencing social isolation and whose wellbeing has been affected by virtue of recent life-changing events.

“Research by Active Ageing shows that the older people get, the more likely they are to do less than half-an-hour of exercise per week. Still On The Go aims to tackle this issue and make sure that over 55s are meeting or exceeding the 30 minute target.

“We want to apply our knowledge of the customer group and use current experiences to shape the delivery of the project.”

Working with the company Places for People Leisure, a regular activity programme will be delivered at Cotman’s housing schemes in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Personal trainers from Riverside Leisure Centre in Norwich will deliver weekly classes such as Zumba and swimming while also offering tailored one-to-one support and health guidance.

Ms Warnes said: “Older people living in our schemes and residents from the surrounding neighbourhoods are already benefiting from weekly tailored personal fitness sessions and virtual exercise classes.”

June and Peter Simpson of Ashby Court, Norwich have been Cotman customers for five years. They have recently struggled to maintain their active lifestyles after suffering health setbacks but have been easing themselves back in by taking part in weekly activities organised by Cotman.

Mrs Simpson said: “The instructor makes us feel comfortable and makes it fun. He understands what we can and can’t do and doesn’t push us.

“He helps us to see the benefits in our daily lives. I find it relaxing and have a laugh and chat with the other group too. I like the fellowship of doing it as a group.”

Mike Diaper, executive director at Sport England said: “Being active is one of the most important things people can do to maintain health and wellbeing as they age.

“We’re delighted to be supporting Cotman Housing Association with National Lottery funding to help get older adults lead happier and heathier lives.

“We’ll be sharing learnings so successful approaches can be scaled-up or replicated across the country.”

The campaign can be followed on Facebook and Twitter, follow @Stillonthego and use #StillOnTheGo.

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