Back in March, we went to visit Mary and her group of volunteers in Sparkbrook. Mary leads an Ageing Better Network, a group called "Six Streets Residents Activity Group" which aims to help local older people in Sparkbrook by getting them active and bringing them together to make friends. The group of volunteers meets bi-weekly at Anand House in Sparkbrook and once Mary had spoken to Nita, our Ageing Better Network Enabler in Sparkbrook, she and the group decided to apply to the Ageing Better Fund. The fund agreed to pay for new activities to take place between January and June this year to help bring new activities to isolated older men and women in Sparkbrook.
Mary highlighted that a lot of people in the area have health problems such as diabetes and heart conditions. She was hoping that the new activities would improve both physical and mental health of participants and for the group members to form friendships that continue long past June.
When we visited in March this year, the group was in full swing exercising and practicing their balance. Chair-based exercise can be great for people who have trouble getting up and about or just want a change of activity on days when they can't get outdoors. At the end of the exercise, Mary and the volunteers had organised for bags of fruit to be handed out which was a lovely way to end the afternoon.