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Older People

The Project:

After attending a Live Longer Better Conference which highlighted a need for tailored physical activity opportunities for older people. Medway Public Health conducted a local physical activity survey which identified a gap where the least active don’t have the confidence, strength and balance to participate in local walking and outdoor activities.  

Ready Stead Walk is a tailored 16-week programme which focuses on helping older, inactive adults to build up their strength, stamina and confidence and reduce the risk of falling. The programme includes face-to-face strength and balance classes, print and post programmes for those who are unable to get to classes, online videos and telephone support. Targeting the least active, the programme aims to build confidence over the winter months to encourage participants to attend their Walk in the Park sessions in spring and summer.   

Delivered by a qualified instructor, sessions were funded to take place at Hoo Leisure Centre and The Sunlight Centre. Whilst taking longer than planned, participants were recruited through the Falls team at Medway Community Healthcare, Active Medway Exercise Referral Service and Primary Care Networks in Medway. Sessions were also advertised across Medway Council’s social media platforms and posters at various venues. 


  • Improved strength, balance and mobility 
  • Reduced social isolation and loneliness 
  • Creation of an active community 
  • Increased awareness of local physical activity opportunities 
  • Development of new friendships 

“The project has brought together residents from the local community to become more active together”.

Medway Public Health Volunteer

Key Learnings: 

Be prepared to adapt. Due to various health conditions and transport issues, not all participants were able to attend the full 16-week programme in person. This issue was overcome by providing home programmes so participants could access safe exercises from home to continue to work on their mobility.  

Develop exit routes. To ensure participants continue to be active after the programme has finished, research and develop suitable exit routes ready for participants to progress to. Not only does this give participants goals but creates connections with local organisations.  

Location is key. Talk to your participants and find out locations that suit them and their needs. Hoo Leisure Centre was chosen due to its central location and accessed by regular bus services and free parking. 

“We have since developed this relationship with Medway South PCN and we have a pilot Ready Steady Walk Class planned for this patient group starting in May 2024”.

Medway Public Health Team Member

Next Steps: 

Due to the success of the programme Medway Public Health plan to expand the project, include more classes and make use of the relationship with Primary and Secondary care to continue targeting those that need it most.