Memory Lane Café Brings Movement and Joy to Calderdale Seniors with New Gentle Exercise Sessions.

Memory Lane Café, a vibrant community-focused and volunteer-led charity in Sowerby Bridge, has introduced gentle exercise sessions to their Saturday café as part of ongoing efforts to support those affected by dementia, other memory loss conditions and social isolation.

This initiative was made possible through funding from Active Calderdale, allowing volunteer Carolyn Scott to realise her vision of becoming a qualified fitness instructor.

Active Calderdale has been working across priority areas of Calderdale to support and encourage people to be more active in whichever way works for them.

Through links made with volunteer Carolyn and Memory Lane Café, Community Project Manager Emma has been delighted to be part of this development to benefit the wider community.

Carolyn’s dedication is clear from the 75 hours of training she completed with “Move It or Lose It,” an organisation known for empowering older adults to stay active regardless of age or health status.

The introduction of the gentle exercise sessions aligns perfectly with the café’s mission to create a supportive and inclusive environment.

As people age, they may become apprehensive about physical activity since our bodies naturally deteriorate over time and seemingly simple tasks become harder than they once used to be.

However, Carolyn’s sessions prove that exercise doesn’t need to be intense or uncomfortable; it can be tailored to individual needs at a steady and comfortable pace where standing is not required.

The first sessions at the café were a huge success, with over 80 attendees, half of whom participated in the gentle exercise routines.

The exercises targeted various body parts such as the wrists, arms, legs, and ankles with movements which mimic daily activities.

All exercises can be done standing, seated or chair-supported with the main aim of participants being able to build the confidence and strength to complete the session standing eventually.

A unique aspect of these sessions is the addition of fun props such as pom-poms and pool noodles and moving to the hits of Swedish pop sensations ABBA.

The atmosphere was lively, and many laughs were heard among friends as they followed the routine.

Anne, one of the attendees who had never tried gentle exercise before, commented:

“It’s the first exercise I’ve done in a long time and I’ll be joining next time, everybody seemed to enjoy it…It’s perfect, especially when you think you can’t do it!”

Adapting exercises based on your abilities and limitations extends beyond the physical benefits, this also contributes to improving emotional and mental well-being.

Gentle exercise can also reduce the risk of injury, improve mobility, and help to maintain physical independence.

Moreover, these sessions provide an opportunity for social interaction helping to combat loneliness and isolation.

Carolyn’s gentle exercise sessions at Memory Lane Café offer people an encouraging and inclusive approach to staying active, proving that age and health challenges don’t need to be barriers.

Memory Lane Café runs on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month in Sowerby Bridge at St Paul’s Methodist Church, HX6 2EQ.

Their Halifax café at the Maurice Jagger Centre, HX11UZ, runs on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month.

There is a £2 per person donation which covers lunch, refreshments, activities and entertainment.

Please call 01422 706373 or 07920 549131 to speak with June or Chris for more information and how to book.

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