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Blog: “I am excited to start supporting older people to get active."

This week is Volunteers’ Week, a time to celebrate the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is celebrating their volunteers by sharing a series of blogs. In this blog we hear from Tracey, a volunteer at Age UK Wiltshire.

Woman standing in a garden.Hi, I’m Tracey and I’ve been a volunteer for Age UK Wiltshire for about one year. I am a personal trainer and have supported people who are referred by their GP. I enjoy supporting older people who have long-term health conditions to get active.  In March 2020, my personal training business was heavily affected by the lockdown. But I still wanted to help people to keep safe and active at home.

I recently started to support Age UK Wiltshire’s new Fitness and Friendship Clubs. These new clubs aim to support disabled and non-disabled people to get active, stay healthy and socialise.

Before I could start as a Club Leader, I completed different training courses to support my role in the Fitness & Friendship Clubs. From Low Impact Functional Exercise training (LIFE) to Adult Mental Health Awareness training. These gave me an awareness of mental health and I feel confident in referring people to other parts of Age UK Wiltshire. I couldn’t wait to get out into the community to start delivering the new Fitness and Friendship Clubs.

However, lockdown two emerged! I felt that many people were feeling isolated all over again. So, to keep people motivated during this lockdown I started to distribute activity packs created by Age UK Wiltshire & Swindon Sport. I gathered feedback through weekly calls to participants. During these calls I supported participants by explaining the exercises and helping them with technical questions. We often spoke about other things and I made referrals to help them out with shopping. Later in 2020, I produced an Advent Exercise Calendar video in December. This was a big highlight for me as it is something I thought I would never do!

In February, Age UK Wiltshire employed me as the Get Out Get Active Project Leader. I am now exploring new ways to engage with participants online. And when in-person classes start, I feel confident thanks to the training courses.

I am enjoying the new things I am learning working with the Fitness and Friendship team and discovering new ways of engaging with older people in Wiltshire. I am excited to start supporting older people to become more physical and social by getting out and getting active!

This story is part of our Volunteers’ Week series showcasing how GOGA volunteers are supporting and engaging some of the UK’s least active disabled and non-disabled people in inclusive and fun activities.

About Get Out Get Active

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Find out more about Get Out Get Active here.