Partnership helps dozens of Shropshire groups through lockdown

Dozens of sport and physical activity groups across Shropshire have received financial support to help them survive and thrive through the Covid-19 lockdown.

Yoga4Health is working with homeless people in Shrewsbury
Yoga4Health is working with homeless people in Shrewsbury

Active partnership Energize is collaborating with Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin councils to deliver the Tackling Inequalities programme across the county on behalf of Sport England and the National Lottery.

The fund is available to all local activity providers working with people in at least one of four groups – those on lower incomes, with long-term health conditions, disability groups, or black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) groups.

Among the projects which have already benefited are Telford & Wrekin Senior Citizen’s Forum, which has used the money to buy equipment and cover venue hire costs for weekly exercise sessions in Madeley, Ketley and Hadley.

The sessions have been targeted specifically at people who have been isolated or felt nervous about venturing out again since the spread of the pandemic.

One of the exercise sessions run by Telford & Wrekin Senior Citizens Forum

In Shrewsbury, recipients include Yoga4Health which has been working with several of the homeless people who have been staying at the town’s Prince Rupert Hotel.

The money has paid for yoga mats, coaching fees, and the hire of premises in the town where socially distanced sessions can be held.

Jenna Donnelly, one of the organisers, said the project had made a real impact to people’s lives.

“During the lockdown, and as the homelessness increased in Shrewsbury due to loss of jobs and a decline in mental health, a six-week Yoga course was developed,” she said.

“The course was specifically designed to empower individuals to move their body in a safe and supported way, whilst learning new skills and approaches for times of crisis, particularly in relation to mental health.”

Elsewhere, Lower Bush Farm at Stoke St Milborough, near Ludlow, received financial help to create archery targets, which will be a long-term investment.

The team have been working with children and adults with a range of special educational needs, who have found themselves more isolated than ever during lockdown, and unable to be active.

A Better Tomorrow, which operates at Abraham Darby Leisure Centre and Madeley Ski Centre, has used its funds to lay on expanded football and badminton sessions and buy extra equipment.

Extra football sessions for A Better Tomorrow in Telford

The group uses sport as a treatment pathway for people in the 50-plus category with mental health or addiction issues.

And the Parents Opening Doors (PODs) group, which operates across Telford & Wrekin, has received support to buy sports equipment, PPE, and a gazebo to move activities outside.

The group, which works with disabled children and their families, is bringing isolated members of the community together for fun and exercise in a safe environment.

Parents Opening Doors has bought new sports equipment

For more details call Energize on 07539 414 508 or email communityhelp@energizestw.org.uk

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