Healthy Generations is a charity based in Islington working to reduce isolation and improve the health and wellbeing of elderly people based in North London.
The charity provides a variety of exercise classes tailored for older people including yoga and pilates, as well as music-based activities and classes to help get people online, as well as events to provide opportunities for residents to socialise within their local communities.
Supported by Clarion Futures, our charitable foundation, Healthy Generations has been hosting tea dances in a number of our LiveSmart independent living schemes for over 50s for many years, and set up a membership and information network in Islington with the aim of informing local Clarion residents aged 55+ about the opportunities, classes and resources on offer in the area.
When the coronavirus outbreak hit, Healthy Generations adapted really quickly, and a grant from Clarion Futures helped the organisation shift its focus to online classes to keep people physically isolated but virtually connected. Helping residents to use their digital equipment confidently to remain connected has been a key objective of the programme, as well as organising for elderly people with limited support to connect with services in the local area supplying food and medicines.
Online exercise classes have been created to support the health and wellbeing of elderly residents, as well as weekly music and digital classes. And for those unable to access these online classes, a personalised ‘befriending’ scheme has been set up, with residents contacted regularly by telephone to check in and provide support.
The plan is now to set up a virtual coffee morning in each of the LiveSmart schemes which usually host tea dances so that residents can remain connected and continue to interact via Zoom and Facebook, as well as finding out how to access services offered by Clarion or outside agencies.
The feedback received so far has been very positive:
- “I really appreciate the work you are doing at Healthy Generations. I’ve been looking for an online exercise class and yours is excellent.”
- “It’s so good to hear from you. It’s got so quiet here and speaking with you is a proper highlight.”
- “I look forward to your phone calls; all my non-essential visits had to stop due to the lockdown and made me feel quite lonely”.
Peter Crockett, Healthy Generations Coordinator, says “I’ve never been busier in my life! We are organising many activities and classes to make sure elderly residents remain connected and upbeat, and it’s great to have the continued support of Clarion Futures.”
Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities for Clarion Futures, said: “We’re proud to be a partner of Healthy Generations as they have gone above and beyond in their effort to make sure that elderly residents remain connected during these difficult times.”
Funding has been provided by Clarion Futures’ Emergency Support Fund which has been created to enable us to offer direct financial support to some of our longstanding partners during the coronavirus outbreak.
To find out about the support that’s available through Clarion Futures, visit www.myclarionhousing.com/futures.