People with a Long Term Health Condition
Sheppey Matters is a registered charity working for better health on the Isle of Sheppey. Established 20 years ago, the charity provides health and wellbeing services for all ages and abilities.
Following feedback from Sheppey Matters members and Community Wardens the charity identified that members physical and mental health had declined during the pandemic. The project initially started off with Active at Home booklets providing members with exercises and equipment such stress balls, and dyno bands to improve mobility and strength. Members voiced that they wanted to learn how to do Nordic Walking and be part of group environment, funding was used to fund the walking and train up two more community leaders.
- House bound participants were able to build up to a daily activity routine, building both strength and mobility.
“My whole demeanor has changed in the space of one week. At our first meeting I had been hunched over and in pain, I had a frozen shoulder that I had not bothered to sort out for years but by my second visit I could walk again”. Participant
- Participants mental and physical health has benefited, with many unable to walk for years due to health conditions now out in their gardens and walking in their local area.
“I cannot believe I have walked up that slope not only pain free but not having to hang on to my husband, who has his own health problems. He initially was not interested in learning how to Nordic walk, but after the first session I convinced him to buy a set for both of us!” Participant
- Sue can now walk upright and pain free after learning to Nordic Walk, she had not walked for years due to spinal problems and arthritis which had compounded her weight issues.
- Margaret ended up with two black eyes after a fall in lockdown, she had been on the waiting list for Falls Prevents but due to lockdown it never went ahead. Prior to lockdown she had had a heart attack which had reduced her mobility, she can now walk to the end of the leas without sitting down, she is now starting to lose weight and be more confident.
“On our second session I brought along my daughter who had breast cancer and sepsis four years ago which has left her with no feeling in her feet and unable to walk. She has now purchased her own poles because trying mine had enabled her to walk again. Her attitude has changed so much, she is so positive and can not stop smiling”. Participant
1. Smaller Groups – Keeping the Nordic Walking Groups smaller enabled members to get to know one another, develop new friendships and helped with anxieties. It also allowed leaders to support members more holistically and work with individuals on a 1-2-1 basis.
2. Develop your service – The charity soon realised they could broaden their offer with increased training and upskilling of their staff. The charity have now supported staff with Falls Prevention courses and trained up more leaders to increased their reach.
Sheppey Matters will continue to offer Nordic Walking, train up additional leaders and work with other organisations to develop their offer.