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Planning Retirement Online

New volunteers needed to help seniors keep fit

March 2020

Wayne Sleep with group at line dancing club
Wayne Sleep recently met some volunteers

The Royal Volunteer Service has just launched a new MakeADifference campaign which highlights the benefits of staying social and active in later life.

It started after new research showed that almost half of 70 year olds admit they are not fit enough. Many said they aren’t physically active because they don’t enjoy exercise; so the RVS is encouraging group activity events where people can meet others and socialise as well as getting fit.

The RVS already runs some fitness groups, all led by volunteers. The new Campaign hopes to encourage more volunteers to step forward so that more classes can be run. As part of this new campaign, they are working with dance favourite Wayne Sleep and also with Yakult, and Wayne Sleep visited one of the groups to see first hand what was happening. This was a line dancing class at a RVS centre in Stoke, where he made a short film as part of the campaign. The film shows the sort of activities in the class and also talks to the volunteer who runs it. You can see the film at:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeu1q9HDGbs&feature=youtu.be
Wayne Sleep said that the volunteers he met was amazing. “Not only are they giving their time to run these brilliant dance classes for people in their community, but they are staying active too,” he said.

Rebecca Kennelly, Director of Volunteering, Royal Voluntary Service said: “For more than 80 years, Royal Voluntary Service has been mobilising volunteers to meet the big needs of the day, and as our research shows, one of the most pressing is helping people age better - specifically supporting them to exercise more frequently and to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of doing so with others. We are very excited to be working with Yakult and Wayne Sleep to highlight the difference our volunteers make,  and hope to inspire more people to take action. Whether it’s helping to run a dance group or one of our many other activity clubs, doing some Move it or Lose it chair based exercises with an older person in their home or setting up a walking group in your area, our volunteers make a tangible difference to those they support and enable them to lead happier and healthier lives.”

The RVS say that if you haven't tackled anything quite like this before, don't worry. They have an experienced team of people ready to guide you through everything with plenty of support.

Also, if you don’t want to run a fitness or dance class, there are also a wide range of other community-based volunteer opportunities to become involved in, from community transport to lunch clubs. The RVS can match opportunities with skills, or even help you become a volunteer co-ordinator to set up your own club or activity. And if you don’t have any specific skills, the RVS is still urging people to join them.  “Every little thing can help,” they said. “Even if you can make a decent cup of tea, that will help as well.”

 You can find out more about volunteering at the RVS by visiting:

https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteering

 

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