Healthy bodies and minds were the centre of attention during Living Well Week (8 to 12 October 2018), when Woking residents had the opportunity to try an array of social events, physical activities and taster sessions taking place across the Borough.
The week-long programme of events is designed for older local residents, focusing on their personal health and wellbeing and mental wellness.
This year, trips on a canal boat along the Basingstoke Canal to the Peace Garden proved popular, with spaces booking out in record time. Guided walks, an invitation to try a Good Gym running session and a volunteer conservation work party on Millmoor Common also gave participants the chance to get active in the great outdoors.
For those with Dementia and their carers, Triangle Day Care ran a successful activity afternoon and hosted a Dementia Friends Awareness session.
For the second year running, Brockhill Extra Care Sheltered Housing Scheme was filled with laughter and music at the ‘Ploughman’s and Pimms afternoon’, a social event designed to help bring the community of older people together and combat loneliness. Guests were served a tasty meal before the opportunity to participate in games, including card games such as Hoi and a raffle, with prizes for some lucky winners. There was also a crafting table with stone painting and bead work, for those with a more creative edge.
Mark Wilson, Director of Community Engagement at Friends of the Elderly, said: “Through our care homes and community services, we provide a range of opportunities to help older people in Woking live fulfilled lives. We were delighted to get involved in Living Well Week again this year and put on some special events as part of the initiative. It was a great opportunity to bring people together and to tackle some of the biggest issues we face as we get older."
Sandra Smook, Visiting Friends Manager at Friends of the Elderly, said: "We worked with Woking Borough Council to organise a special Ploughmans and Pimms afternoon at Brockhill Independent Living, which was attended by around 50 people. One of the attendees told us that it was the first time she had been out of the house apart from hospital appointments in about a year; her daughter said that it was ‘like having my old mum back.’ Initiatives like these are so important in helping us ensure that older people in Woking can live full and happy lives."
Praising Living Well Week, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Year on year, Living Well Week has delivered a fantastic programme of events to help older people in Woking live better and get healthier. What’s more, most of the sessions are free or inexpensive.
“The addition of popular new activities such as trips on the Basingstoke Canal and a tour of the Surrey History Centre, all added a special touch to the week and proved that it isn’t just traditional sports that can help us keep mentally and physically fit. Anything that involves gentle exercise and gets us socialising with others will do us the world of good as well.
“The hope is that people tried something they liked and got hooked, coming away from the week with a new passion for something that keeps their minds sharp, their bodies fit and stops them feeling isolated.”
If you are interested in getting involved in future Living Well events, call 01483 743352 or visit www.woking.gov.uk/livingwellweek