New funding helps older people in Hertfordshire get active

Published: 02 Oct 2017


Hertfordshire has received £400,000 National Lottery funding from Sport England to help older adults get active and remain independent.

The Active Ageing funding has been awarded to Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) to help reduce the number of inactive older adults.

The funding will be used to provide a personalised exercise service for older people living independently in their homes, tailored according to their ability, motivation and current health.

Those who are able to go out will be supported to be more active locally in their communities. Those who are less able will be offered an enjoyable and tailored home-based physical activity programme that promotes independence, quality of life and wellbeing.

Richard Roberts, Cabinet Member for Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council explained: “We know that there is clear and compelling evidence of the benefits of exercising at any age to promote independence and wellbeing in later life. Yet too many of our residents aren’t benefitting and lack tailored opportunities to take part.

“The great thing about this programme is that we are making the most of the unique partnership we have with HILS to offer exercise in people’s homes and on their doorstep. This will make the world of difference to their quality of life.”

HILS is an award winning social enterprise that has trusted relationships with many older people, enabling them to bring exercise to people’s front door.

Sarah Wren, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service, said: "We are delighted to work with Hertfordshire County Council and Sport England to provide an innovative new service to support many more Hertfordshire residents in their homes. Exercise is so important to general health, and we are looking forward to helping many older people build their confidence and strength, and enjoy becoming more active”.

Sport England has put tackling inactivity at the heart of its strategy Towards An Active Nation, and launched the Active Ageing fund to tackle inactivity in the over 55s.

Sport England research shows:

• There are roughly 5.8 million inactive people over 55 in England and the number of inactive people is growing as people are living longer.
• Inactivity among over 55s is responsible for as many deaths as smoking
• 36% of over 55s are inactive compared to 26% of the population as a whole
• Age 55-64 (28% inactive), 65-74 (31% inactive) 75-84 year olds (49% inactive), 85+ (72% inactive)

Mike Diaper, Executive Director at Sport England said: “Being active is one of the most important things people can do to maintain health and wellbeing as they age. We’re delighted to be supporting Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Independent Living Service with National Lottery funding to help get older adults lead happier and heathier lives. We’ll be sharing learnings so successful approaches can be scaled-up or replicated across the country.”

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