Wanted: volunteers to lead life-changing exercise classes

Wanted: volunteers to lead life-changing exercise classes
25th September 2018 Amanda Bhavnani
Residents doing chair-based exercise

If you like the idea of teaching people gentle but very effective exercises from the comfort of your chair, we want to hear from you!

We’re looking for volunteers to join our team of chair-based exercise leaders; who teach classes in several venues across the district. Your training will involve learning how to lead the class by delivering 22 prescribed moderate exercises that improve mobility, prevent falls and help to maintain independence; as well as encouraging social interaction.

Mark Fribben, 52 from Braintree, began teaching classes last year, following a recommendation from his doctor that he tried pulmonary rehab seated exercise classes to improve his muscle strength and breathing:

“My fitness gradually improved and I could cope with my condition better. I then saw an advert to become a ‘buddy’ at Greenfields’ chair-based exercise classes, and it went from there! I haven’t look back and now teach my own classes. I really recommend it to anybody.”

Mark can see clear improvements in people who attend his classes: “The exercise helps to improve people’s health and mobility after a few weeks. I think to myself: ‘They’re 80 and 90 years old – look at them!’ It’s absolutely brilliant.”

Not only are the classes beneficial to Mark’s health, but they also encourage him to interact with others: “Teaching the class gets me out the house and helps me to socialise with other people. We all have a nice chat after the classes. It keeps my lung condition steady and has definitely reduced my own medical problems.”

James Taylor, Greenfields’ Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator, runs the programme, and said: “Chair-based exercise is potentially life-changing, as it can lead to people requiring less medical treatment for ailments and conditions, and also reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. It’s also very beneficial for those who lead the classes; both physically and mentally; as they learn new skills, get a qualification and give something back to the community. Please get in touch if you’re interested in joining or leading the classes.”

Find out more about our chair-based exercise classes and volunteering opportunities by contacting James on 01376 535400 ext. 5656, emailing james.taylor@greenfieldsch.org.uk or visiting Health and Wellbeing Programme

Read Mark’s blog about his experience of being a chair-based exercise leader here: How exercising from your chair can improve your life