Leisure provider, Life Leisure, has created a hundred activity packs to help those most at-risk and recovering from Covid-19 to increase their fitness and physical health as part of Stockport’s fight against the pandemic.
The packs have been created as part of the Stockport Moving Together campaign, funded by Stockport Council and Sport England, which aims to ensure those most at risk of Covid-19 are encouraged to be in the best health possible to beat the illness. Life Leisure, which operates 13 leisure centres across Stockport and in Barrow-in-Furness, has also developed a programme which has been delivered to care homes across the borough.
Stockport Moving Together, which was launched in September 2020 and forms part of the broader One Stockport campaign, is a joint initiative between the Council, GPs and Primary Care in Stockport, Stockport CCG, Stepping Hill NHS Foundation Trust and Life Leisure.
Ross McGuigan, Active Communities Manager at Life Leisure, came up with the idea for the packs along with Michelle Childs, Health Development Manager, with the Stockport Moving Together team providing additional expertise and support to ensure benefits were maximised. Mr McGuigan said:
We are encouraging residents to see the value and wide-ranging benefits of keeping active.
“Our centres are currently closed due to the lockdown, but we continue to support the most at risk in the community with Zoom classes, one-to-one sessions in parks, and the activity packs, which are supported by online videos and include pedal exercises to encourage movement even when watching TV.
“We can’t go into the care homes to lead activities so we hope these activity packs will help to help mitigate any areas of decline that may result from the lockdown and social isolation.”
Care homes which have so far benefitted include Wellcroft in Gatley, Shepley House in Hazel Grove, Reinbek in Davenport, Bryn Haven in Brinnington, Lisburne Court in Woodbank, and Marbury House in Reddish. Packs have also been delivered to residents who are recovering from the virus and have been referred by their physician.
Tom Curtis, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist on the Medical & Surgical Team at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, is in support of the scheme. He said:
Both in hospital and in the community we have seen that people who have Covid-19 have a wide variety of symptoms, some of which can be longer-lasting. These can often include generalised weakness, breathlessness, fatigue and issues affecting psychological wellbeing. Starting some exercise with the support of Stockport Moving Together can be a great way of helping some of these problems”
Cllr Jude Wells, Cabinet Member for Adult Care & Health at Stockport Council, added:
Stockport Moving Together is about enabling people to get moving more, reduce sedentary lifestyles and the burden inactivity can place on our community as we build back better.
“It’s great to see Life Leisure continuing to support the programme throughout the pandemic, at a time when it is needed the most.”
Life Leisure is hoping to continue to support residents with Winter Welfare Packs, which will create positive habits for older adults, tackle social isolation and loneliness, and improve their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Fitness packs are available to Stockport residents on referral from local GPs and hospitals.
Image: Rachel Towell (L), from Life Leisure, passes packs to Edward Coverley (R), Activity Lifestyle Facilitator at the Wellcroft care home in Gatley.