North Norfolk scheme aims to fill gaps left by cuts to social care funding

Excel 2000 founder Penny Bevan-Jones at Splash, Sheringham, where has launched twin projects to supp

Excel 2000 founder Penny Bevan-Jones at Splash, Sheringham, where has launched twin projects to support older people, carers and children with additional needs. Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk-based health and wellbeing charity has launched twin projects aimed at supporting children with additional needs and socially isolated older people, after receiving £20,000 in National Lottery and Children in Need grants.

Penny Bevan-Jones (centre) running an Excel 2000 water-based exercise class at Splash, Sheringham. P

Penny Bevan-Jones (centre) running an Excel 2000 water-based exercise class at Splash, Sheringham. Photo: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

For more than 25 years, Excel 2000, which was set up by former nurse Penny Bevan-Jones, has run fitness classes and courses for older people from all over the region. The charity also hosts courses for carers and, last year, branched out to offer creative classes for youngsters with additional needs in a project funded by a £10,000 Children in Need grant.

The latest phase of the scheme, which is entitled Making a Difference, has seen Excel 2000 team up with Splash Leisure Centre, Sheringham, to run pool-based activities with music for children with disabilities and their carers.

Mrs Bevan-Jones now hopes to expand the charity's work further, by working with Splash and community development company First Local to launch Life Balance, a scheme which, funded by a £10,000 National Lottery grant, aims to encourage older people to stay physically well and become more socially active.

The year-long project will see free sessions run in the gym and pool at Splash, and at the Morley social club at Sheringham.


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Other events will include community lunches, courses for carers, and open days to find out what services or activities local over 60s would like to see.

Mrs Bevan-Jones said Life Balance, which aimed to help fill the gaps left by cuts to social care funding, had scope to reach up to 400 older people and carers across north Norfolk.

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'We want people to realise is that they can get a lot more out of life,' she added. 'But central to our approach is an awareness of the growing need to develop a new social care model that will accommodate the unprecedented growth in demand in an environment of drastic service reductions.'

Splash general manager Stephen Mews said: 'I think it is brilliant for Splash to be able to provide free sessions for children, carers and families and it is a fantastic opportunity for the people of north Norfolk.'

The next session for children with additional needs and their carers will be running on April 15. To book, phone 01263 825670 or email mail@excel2000.plus.com

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