Charitable trust connects with health programme participants under Level 3 restrictions

Level 3 restrictions have seen Fife’s leading provider of sports and leisure services close its doors on its award-winning health programme designed to support those living with long-term health conditions – but now,  steps are underway to stay connected with participants.

Charitable trust, Fife Sports and Leisure Trust in keeping with the Scottish Government’s announcement regarding protocols to be followed in relation to the spread and containment of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Level 3 local protection measures, is unable to provide indoor group exercise classes or sports for adults.

The measures have affected the delivery of the trust’s health programme that supports people living with long-term conditions such as cancer, diabetes, dementia and COPD and means that participants are missing out for a second time since the March lockdown.

Following consultation with participants, the trust has identified that staying connected with instructors and fellow class members is as vital as the specially-designed physical activity sessions. The trust is using funds from its Fife Health and Wellbeing Fund to support a weekly outreach programme where instructors will make weekly contact with participants. 

Fiona Prendergast, wellbeing and programming manager for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, explains: “The trust has had a successful track record of engaging older adults in its health and wellbeing programme and we took action during the first lockdown to stay engaged with users with daily online physical activity sessions to support those living with long-term health conditions.

“We were really happy to see participants, many of whom are elderly, come back to centres when we were able to re-open, so the Level 3 restrictions are a real blow for those who were enjoying getting out of the house and seeing their fellow classmates again. We carried out a survey to find out what we could do to keep supporting participants this time around and overwhelmingly they said that staying connected was vital to their mental and physical wellbeing.

“Our instructors will contact users of the health programme weekly either by phone call, Zoom class, WhatsApp video call, or, a socially distanced walk outdoors. The trust’s own charitable fund was designed to support the communities of Fife and we are very pleased to be able to invest in this outreach service while Level 3 restrictions remain in place. 

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