Volunteers going for gold

Volunteer Gold - Back l to r - Margo Sinclair, Jessie Rennie, Chris Stanton, Barbara Stewart. Front - Betty Hosie, Freda Stewart, Grace Stewart.. Margo and Barbara work for Angus Gold and Support Volunteer Gold. Freda Stewart is Health Improvement Partnership Manager.
Volunteer Gold - Back l to r - Margo Sinclair, Jessie Rennie, Chris Stanton, Barbara Stewart. Front - Betty Hosie, Freda Stewart, Grace Stewart.. Margo and Barbara work for Angus Gold and Support Volunteer Gold. Freda Stewart is Health Improvement Partnership Manager.

VOLUNTEER Gold is a new community venture piloted in Brechin and the surrounding area.

The funding for this venture comes from the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts and is supported by the Community Learning and Development Services and NHS Improvement Team.

Frieda Stewart, health improvement partnership manager explained: “The project supports mobility and increases independence.

“There is probably nobody that can’t take part in this exercise programme.

“The over sixties are the target, people who are less mobile and who don’t fall into the mainstream of physical activity things.

“The project runs all over Angus. The project has grown considerably from the original 17 volunteers who came forward to take part in the original year of funding.

“Volunteers are recruited and trained to deliver the seated exercise programme.

“They go out to individual’s homes or care or residential homes and deliver a seated exercise programme, so that older people that can’t access other physical forms of exercise get a better standard of physical activity.

“The work of the volunteers is crucial. It helps reduce joint pain, increase mobility and actually helps you live longer.

“The statistics all show the healthier you are the more exercise you do. Obviously it also helps promote individual independence.

“We are currently recruiting and training volunteers to deliver gentle seated exercises to older people, mainly in their own homes but also, where appropriate, to small groups in local venues. This will incur no cost to the people taking part.

“No previous exercise or health work is necessary, just a willingness to be involved.

“A short accredited training course in seated exercises will be provided which will enable volunteers to work one to one in small groups. We will also provide insurance, disclosure and out of pocket expenses and ongoing support is readily available.

“It is hoped to launch the service later in the spring after volunteer training is completed. If the pilot scheme proves successful, it is planned to make applications to other funding bodies to enable the project to be available across Angus.

“In the long term it is hoped to demonstrate to the health and social care services that this project plays an important role in alleviating and supporting older people to remain in their own homes.

“Angus Community Planning Partnership supports the exercise programme which almost anyone can participate in – a 12-week exercise programme increases core strength by 30 per cent, which, in turn increases mobility, independence and well being.

“My advice to anyone is to either join in as a volunteer or participate, because it will change your life.”

If you are interested in hearing more about the venture or becoming a volunteer contact Volunteer Gold, c/o Angus Gold, (01307) 468859 or by email at angusgold@angus.gov.uk