Free activity packs help retirement scheme residents exercise at home

Over 500 residents at Bernicia retirement schemes have received free activity packs to help them to keep fit and active.

We’ve teamed up with local charity Rise to deliver physical activity packs to residents of retirement schemes across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. The packs contain a range of equipment that will help maintain and improve balance and strength.

Lee Sprudd, strategic director for Rise said, “Many people over the age of 55 are finding it hard to keep active, especially with the restrictions that have been in place during the Coronavirus pandemic. But we know that keeping active is a benefit to not only our physical health, but also our mental well-being. That is why we are delighted to be working with Bernicia to distribute the packs to residents within their sheltered housing schemes. We hope that these packs will give many people the means stay active.”

The packs contain a variety of items such as printed tea towels with exercises to do while the kettle boils, resistance bands, sponge balls and stress balls with a set of instruction cards for exercises, and balloons for improving lung capacity.  Funding for these has been provided by Rise, Bernicia, Sport England and the National Lottery.

Jeannie McMillan, director housing services at Bernicia, said: “Making sure tenants in our retirement schemes enjoy the best quality of life is a top priority. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed their usual routine of visits from family and friends, socialising with other residents, and keeping active.

“We know this can have an impact on their physical as well as mental being and so by providing the activity packs, we hope to inspire them with ways to stay active at home.”

Lee Sprudd added, “Our thanks go to the Hirst Welfare Community Centre in Ashington for providing access to allow the packs to be put together whilst observing social distancing guidelines, and also to Bernicia for jointly funding and distributing the packs to their residents.”