Leisure World is to introduce a free programme of fun, relaxed activities and sports introduced for people living with dementia and their carers.
With the first sessions this week (w/c 19th February), new Dementia Friendly sessions will run every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, during school term-time.
The sessions are funded by the iBCF (Improved & Better Care Fund) North East Essex Transformation Fund. £20,000 was granted for the centre to provide activities aimed at customers with, or at risk of developing, dementia.
Dementia affects a huge number of people across the UK. Over 1,250 people were diagnosed in Colchester last year. Physical exercise can help in a number of ways, from boosting mood and confidence to improving strength, balance and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
Some studies have also shown that exercise may also improve memory and slow the progress of dementia.
Badminton and table tennis sessions will run on Wednesday’s from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, with swimming also available- under the guidance of qualified teachers in a dedicated lane, in the Fitness Pool from 2.30pm – 3.30pm.
On Thursdays, badminton and table tennis sessions run from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, then an afternoon of line dancing from 2:00pm.
Leisure World Colchester is working in partnership with a number of organisations including Community360, an independent registered charity, who will provide transport for participants to access these activities.
Tracy Rudling, Chief Executive Officer of Community360, said: “We chair the Dementia Action Alliance, so for us this is an essential forward thinking project where everyone has the right and choice to be included in activities.
“It is really important to give people the ability to take part in the community and for us to ensure that the environment is right for them to do that.
“It is essential that we work in partnership to do this. No one agency has the answer or can do this alone, so we are really excited to be part of this initiative.”
All Dementia Friendly sessions are free until 19th July. After this date, activities will be chargeable.
Booking in advance is not needed. For more information visitors are asked to call 01206 282000 or visit www.colchesterleisureworld.co.uk/dementia-friendly-activities.