A charity best known for running musical sessions for older people is expanding its online work.
As lockdown puts an even greater emphasis on the health and wellbeing of older people in isolation, the Goldies charity is increasing its weekly online content to include gentle chair-exercise at home.
When Goldies was forced by covid to cancel daytime sessions across England and Wales last March, the charity introduced online sessions through Facebook and YouTube.
These developed to become twice-weekly, with Tuesday sessions taken by Rachel Parry and Thursdays by Cheryl Davies. Each has worked for the Charity for a number of years as a daytime session leader.
With Cheryl’s Thursday session based on the popular Goldies format of singing with well-loved popular songs and onscreen words, the weekly Tuesday 11am sessions led by Rachel have developed into a more magazine-style format.
Rachel, who records her sessions from her home in Thornbury near Bristol. She said: “We have had a fantastic response from older folk across England and we feature different subjects each Tuesday.
"Many age-related organisations, local authorities and town councils promote the sessions. The chair-based exercises encourage people to stretch as well as sing and we hope to develop these in the weeks ahead.
"We know that there is an emphasis this winter on preventing falls in the home, and our gentle chair exercises encourage movement to those well-loved songs of the 60s and onwards - sing along to Bring Me Sunshine, smile and stretch!“
Dr Afroditi Stathi is Associate Professor in Physical Activity, Ageing and Health at the University of Birmingham and a Trustee of the Golden-Oldies Charity. She has been closely involved with the development of gentle active songs which have been introduced by Goldies.
She said: “Evidence stresses that the barriers of having no reasons to get out and about and nothing to look forward to can be broken with the Goldies wellbeing sessions
"The message is loud and clear - you can delay or reverse mobility limitations and maintain independence, and you can enjoy later life to the full. Loneliness in old age is not inevitable.”
Goldies Founder, Grenville Jones, added: “When we were forced to cancel our live Goldies sessions last year this meant that our older folk could not come to us to enjoy a session in their community room, church hall or Library.
"As they could not come to us, through the internet, we took Goldies into their homes and sofa-singing started!”
Further information can be found at www.goldieslive.com, and the charity can also easily be found on YouTube and through Facebook.