No sign of Sheila slowing down as 76-year-old helps the elderly to stay active

An exercise tutor working to keep elderly and less able people active has been recognised for reaching a 20-year milestone.

Sheila Caspell is a tutor for Extend, a charity that specialises in in exercise for older people and disabled adults. She has been awarded a gold badge for her 20 year achievement.
Sheila Caspell is a tutor for Extend, a charity that specialises in in exercise for older people and disabled adults. She has been awarded a gold badge for her 20 year achievement.

Sheila Caspell has been working with fitness charity Extend since 2001, delivering exercise sessions at care homes and day centres while also running weekly public classes.

Now the organisation, which has been running for almost 50 years, has given her a gold badge to recognise her ongoing dedication.

Having been forced to stop delivering her lessons due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sheila has recently restarted her classes in Albrighton as well as launching a second class in Lilleshall, near Telford.

Sheila has been awarded a gold badge for her 20 year achievement.

The 76-year-old is still waiting to be able to return to the various care homes she attended pre-Covid, and said keeping active was "vital" for people of all ages.

It comes after a recent study by ageing experts at Strathclyde University in Glasgow revealed older people are in danger of losing the ability to do daily tasks because of the pandemic.

Researchers said that after the closure of vital support services, it was important that people get back to being physically and socially active as soon as possible to stop any decline.

Sheila Caspell

Sheila, originally from Essex and now living in Randlay, Telford, said she was delighted to be recognised.

She said she loved leading the activities, adding: "Keeping active is terribly important, even for me. I'm officially retired but I still carry on doing these classes and my husband and I do at least 10,000 steps everyday.

"I've seen much younger people than us who cannot do this so I know the benefit of keeping active, even if it's just a little bit each day."

Sheila Caspell

Sheila, who has helped pensioners aged over 100 stay active, said many people in her Covid-safe classes had missed the physical and social activity.

"Even just to talk to people is great," she said. "Some of these people hadn't spoken to anybody throughout the pandemic. I used to phone them a couple of times a month to see how they were as many didn't have anybody, not even family.

"I'll definitely go back to the care homes and day centres, but we're just waiting for Government guidance to allow me to do so."

Sheila Caspell

Sheila currently runs a public class at the Redhouse in Albrighton and at Lilleshall Memorial Hall, which people are being encouraged to attend.

For more information or to book a spot, contact Sheila on 07989679625.

Shropshire RCC supports the Association of Shropshire Exercise Teachers (ASET), a group of exercise teachers who work with people who have limited mobility, are older or who may be starting exercise classes for the first time.

Anyone interested in starting or re-starting exercise classes can contact Shropshire RCC’s development officer Susie Hancock, who will talk through their needs and share what ASET class options are available in their area, on susie.hancock@shropshire-rcc.org.uk

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