Thursday, 13 June 2024
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Thursday, 13 June 2024

Oxfordshire residents encouraged to sign up to free ‘life-changing’ programme

A retired welder from Witney whose life has been transformed by a free programme which supports people’s physical and mental well-being is encouraging others to sign up.

Bob Kennedy was forced to take early retirement due to struggling with his mobility and had to shield during the COVID-19 pandemic where the absence of social interactions took a toll on his mental health.

The 68-year-old subsequently joined Move Together – a countywide pathway into physical activity delivered by Oxfordshire’s city and district councils and co-ordinated by charity Active Oxfordshire. It provides support, advice and guidance to people living with or at risk of developing a long-term health condition by helping participants keep active.

Last year, over 2,000 people took part with 70 per cent reporting significant health benefits while 60 per cent of participants increased their physical activity levels on a long-term basis. Over a third (36 per cent) of participants also noted a decrease in GP visits, with 28 per cent being less reliant on NHS 111 and out-of-hours services.

Now, Bob wants others in his position to experience the benefits by getting active in the company of supportive, like-minded, individuals.

Bob said:

“Move Together has genuinely been life-changing for me. It has helped me develop my confidence and overcome the depression and anxiety which I experienced during the pandemic.

“Initially it was my local council who informed me about Move Together when I applied for priority shopping. From there I had a home visit so the delivery team could learn more about my situation and the exercises which would suit me.

“Having the opportunity to meet new people when only a few years ago we were all unable to leave the house was a welcome relief. The Move Together team has been really supportive throughout and helped me make positive changes to my lifestyle for the better.”

Classes can be delivered in-person or online and include information about community activities, tailored guidance and strength-building exercises with resistance bands of varying difficulty to cater for participants of all abilities.

While Bob was unable to travel having undergone surgery on his back, he logged into sessions via Zoom so he could continue his progress from home. Each session Bob is supported by his regional Move Together coordinator who also operates phone calls and doorstep visits to motivate, guide and support participants.

Bob added:

“I can’t recommend the programme enough. My only regret is not finding out sooner – I’ve even told my immediate family to sign up.

“It’s flexible, you get to make lots of new friends and everyone supports one another which brings out the best in people. I’ve found the home activity packs to be really helpful during my recovery and the Move Together team has tailored my programme so I get the most out of the activities I’m doing.

“It’s fun, free and makes positive changes to your life – a win, win!”

Funded by Oxfordshire County Council Public Health and the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, Move Together is coordinated by Active Oxfordshire in partnership with district councils.

For further information about the programme and details on how to register, please visit: www.getoxfordshireactive.org/move-together.

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