Active Saints

To improve health/wellbeing and reduce loneliness through opportunities for older men/women to exercise whilst socialising in rural N/Shrops

by The New Saints FC Foundation in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, Powys, Wales

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raised of £500 target

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This project is using Flexible funding and will receive all pledges made by November 27th 2018 at 12:00pm





The New Saints FC Foundation Ltd is the charitable arm of a professional football club playing in the Welsh Premier League.  Our aims are to make physical activity as accessible and affordable as possible to as wide a cross section of the community as possible, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability, in order to improve health, wellbeing and social outcomes.  In particular, through this project, we want to improve health and social outcomes for older people living in North Shropshire, many of whom become isolated when families don’t live close, public transport isn’t available, and/or a health event (fall, stroke, heart attack) means they lose confidence to leave their home.

Our project aims are to:

·         Provide a range of opportunities for older men and women living in rural North Shropshire to exercise whilst socialising, with a view to improving and sustaining their health and mental wellbeing

·         Offer free taster exercise sessions aimed at improving core strength/stability, and to make these part of a wider approach to promoting health and wellbeing amongst the older population by linking them with social activities.

·         Offer gender specific social activities in order to encourage male participants in to exercise activities.

The New Saints FC Foundation Ltd aims to make physical activity as accessible and affordable to a wide cross-section of the community - we currently deliver activity and exercise provision for 3 to 103 year olds.  We have to the Aviva community fund for support for this project, and any funds raised through this Crowdfunding initiative would increase the amount of activity we could offer in our very rural location in North-West Shropshire. Our team members include a qualified postural stability instructor, otago and extend qualified teachers, community engagement officer and various sports/activity coaches. All are first aid trained, DBS checked, dementia awareness and mental health first aid trained, etc.

We have worked for several years in partnership with a range of organisations who from time to time secure funding for exercise and activity opportunities for older people, and who then use the expertise within our Foundation to deliver their projects.  However, when the funding runs out, the activities end and their long-term value is lost.  We want to take ownership of this process.  We think we have learned from what has happened previously, and therefore propose this project to develop sustainable activity/exercise provision in 6 rural locations.

We plan to offer weekly exercise and social activities in a minimum of six rural villages/market towns across North Shropshire – introduced via free taster sessions, in locations where older people are comfortable coming together eg local village halls and/or community housing hubs - where we have previously provided activities and have clear demand/need for more.  There will be a clear focus on providing sustainable social activities which encourage participation/ownership by older men as well as women - core strength exercise activities will be woven in to the sessions in a way which is accepted and enjoyed by those participating.  

Our partners in this project are Shropshire Public Health (social prescribing); Connexus Housing; Star Housing; local Parish and Town Councils; Three Parishes Big Local and others, all of whom have identified a need for this project.

Over 19,000 older people in Shropshire suffer falls each year - many are reluctant to participate in exercise programmes for various reasons.  Our experience suggests that older people enjoy the social aspect of group classes and also they are more likely to participate if encouraged by a health professional – we therefore work with the Shropshire Social Prescribing pilot to ensure GPs are aware of our provision.

We currently deliver exercise/activity sessions to a small village community (total population only approx. 600), of whom over 10% regularly attend as a follow on to their social coffee and ‘knit and natter’ activities.  The sessions benefit and target the village’s older residents, who are fully involved in running them.  Almost 30% of local housing is owned by a registered social landlord, whose tenants are active in the local community. Many have no access to transport and are isolated within their community.  All pay for the exercise classes integrated in to their wider social activities.  We think this is a model which can be replicated in other areas, with the right support from our Foundation.




























































































































































































































































The New Saints FC Foundation Ltd aims to make physical activity as accessible and affordable to a wide cross-section of the community - we currently deliver activity and exercise provision for 3 to 103 year olds.  Our Aviva project would be a natural extension of this (building on a current project) – team members include a qualified postural stability instructor, otago and extend qualified teachers, community engagement officer and various sports/activity coaches. All are first aid trained, DBS checked, dementia awareness and mental health first aid trained, etc.

We have worked for several years in partnership with a range of organisations who from time to time secure funding for exercise and activity opportunities for older people, and who then use the expertise within our Foundation to deliver their projects.  However, when the funding runs out, the activities end and their long-term value is lost.  We want to take ownership of this process.  We think we have learned from what has happened previously, and therefore propose this project to develop sustainable activity/exercise provision in 6 rural locations.

We plan to offer weekly exercise and social activities in six rural villages/market towns across North Shropshire – introduced via free taster sessions, in locations where older people are comfortable coming together eg local village halls and/or community housing hubs - where we have previously provided activities and have clear demand/need for more.  There will be a clear focus on providing sustainable social activities which encourage participation/ownership by older men as well as women - core strength exercise activities will be woven in to the sessions in a way which is accepted and enjoyed by those participating.  


Over 19,000 older people in Shropshire suffer falls each year - many are reluctant to participate in exercise programmes for various reasons.  Our experience suggests that older people enjoy the social aspect of group classes and also they are more likely to participate if encouraged by a health professional – we therefore work with the Shropshire Social Prescribing pilot to ensure GPs are aware of our provision.


We currently deliver exercise/activity sessions to a small village community (total population only approx. 600), of whom over 10% regularly attend as a follow on to their social coffee and ‘knit and natter’ activities.  The sessions benefit and target the village’s older residents, who are fully involved in running them.  Almost 30% of local housing is owned by a registered social landlord, whose tenants are active in the local community. Many have no access to transport and are isolated within their community.  All pay for the exercise classes integrated in to their wider social activities.  We think this is a model which can be replicated in other areas, with the right support from our Foundation, and this is the project for which we are seeking crowdfunding support.