Older people keep active with sports & fitness classes from Shooting Stars Football Academy

Posted on
08 January 2019


Customers of Bury Social care provider Persona have been enjoying the sessions since January 2018 at its Elmhurst and Spurr House short stay centres, and at Grundy and Pinfold Lane day centres, after Persona secured funding for a 12-month programme from Bridging the Gap. 

Customers are taking part in regular sessions each week which include Zumba, Pilates, Dancing Bowling, Archery and Tai Chi to name a few.  The impact of these activities have had an uplifting effect on the customers who have taken part and the customers are actively looking forward to what exciting activities are in store for future sessions.   

The activities have proved so popular that one customer even requested a special session for their birthday!

Due to their popularity, Persona has agreed to fund the sessions so that they will be continuing at all of these centres into 2019 and beyond.

Funding for the activities initially came from Sport England’s Bridging the Gap programme, which aims to widen opportunities to access sporting and fitness activities. Sessions are delivered by a local sports education provider.

Persona Managing Director Kat Sowden said: “Staying fit and active is vitally important at any time of life. But often older people struggle to find ways to enjoy physical activity, so we’re delighted to be able to offer this exciting programme of activities for our customers.

“There are lots of sports and exercise classes to choose from with something for everyone.

“We are starting the programme with older people and people with dementia who come to us for a short respite stay - either for a carer break or when someone has just come out of hospital. They’ve been very popular so far with customers telling us they really enjoy the sessions.

“For people with dementia in particular there is lots of evidence that keeping active is crucial. It’s good for the body, but it’s also good for our mind and well being too.”

Persona was set up in October 2015 and is an independent company wholly owned by Bury Council. Persona runs services on the council’s behalf which were previously provided in-house by the authority.

Spurr House in Unsworth provides 36 short stay beds and specialises in dementia; while Elmhurst in Whitefield offers 27 beds for older people. As well as short stay accommodation, the centres provide specialist health and social care support. Staff are on hand 24/7, with residents provided with all meals and enjoying access to onsite hair and beauty salons.

Pinfold Lane day centre provides a specialised daycare service to meet the needs of people living in the community, who are living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. It also offers support to their carers and family members.  Grundy day centre provides a safe and stimulating environment where customers are able to meet new people and take part in a range of activities both in the centre and in the community. They can also purchase a hot meal in the Bistro, Cuppaccino, have their hair done at the G2 salon or take advantage of our bathing service, should they wish to do so.