Healthy Living Club

The Healthy Living Club has been launched in Hailsham
The Healthy Living Club has been launched in Hailsham

Ping pong, New Age Kurling and a host of other activities were on offer at the launch of a Healthy Living Club in Hailsham.

The town’s mayor Councillor Jo Bentley saw the project get underway. It has been launched by Age UK East Sussex at Bowes House care home in Battle Road.

Activities including Boccia, a target ball sport, and Qiqong, a gentle practice of aligning breath and movement to help with co-ordination, flexibility, well-being and relaxation, were on offer.

The club is being run fortnightly on Tuesdays, from 10am to noon and the next meetings are today (February 4) and February 18, with only a 50p charge to cover refreshments, thanks to funding from East Sussex County Council and the offer of rooms at Bowes House free of charge.

Charles Sheldon, health and community development manager for Age UK East Sussex, said similar clubs were also being launched in Eastbourne and Hastings.

They were pilots and if successful would be taken into other areas.

The longest queue during the two-hour taster in Hailsham was for an assessment by NHS health trainers using an In Body machine.

One of the first to try it was Naomi Younge, 73, who said she wasn’t surprised to learn that she needed more exercise because she was recovering after an accident. She said, “I’m hoping to get back into exercise slowly and to get back into shape with help here.”

She added it was ‘marvellous’ that she didn’t have to pay for the sessions because there was very little to spend on looking after herself after household bills were paid.

Bowes House manager Alison Barnes said she was pleased to offer rooms for the club. The home itself offered activities-based care with a programme of events designed to keep residents as independent as possible and to involve them in community life.

Cllr Jo Bentley was on hand to encourage the organisers. She said, “This is brilliant. The more we can encourage older people to get involved in doing exercise and making friends the better it is for their physical and mental fitness.

“It is a lovely idea to hold the club in this facility where people from the community can come in and mix with residents.”