Action For Elders Mobility Teacher, Betty Sutherland, has proved a big hit with her online sessions for older people. We asked Betty to tell us more about the new face-to-face exercise classes…
How do you feel about coming back out into the community?
I think we are all a little bit nervous as we are giving up the control that we had created for our own safety during COVID and lockdown, but the secret is to ease back out there gradually.
What do you have planned for participants to get them back into the swing of things?
We are looking forward to getting back into the routine which is really important and have lots of fun activities planned. We also will also be joined by a new instructor (Richard) who will be teaching us something new. Balanced Lives and Tai Chi will pull us all together.
You will be doing two weeks and Richard Siwiacs will be doing two weeks, will you be collaborating on the sessions overall?
Richard has worked with the class before and is well loved by all. Richard and I will be putting together a Balanced Lives programme that will be seamless, so learners will be supported no matter what session they attend.
Have you had much feedback on the need for face-to-face sessions?
I have had many phone calls asking when the class will be returning so there’s a big demand for the return to live sessions.
How did people respond to the online sessions and did they help them through lockdown?
The Zoom sessions have been well attended, including people from around the country which has been excellent. The attendees have reported that seeing the group on Zoom and the regular routine is very helpful. Exercise improves the endorphins, so people feel much happier after exercising.
We now have online AND face to face sessions in York. Have we come out of the pandemic stronger and with more to offer people?
I think we now offer more diversity and choices. People know they can now turn up in person, but if they don’t feel up to it that day or their health isn’t too good, they won’t miss out; because they can join the Zoom sessions. They can also go onto our YouTube channel for on demand sessions.
Balanced Lives HOP will still continue online. Is it important that people have both online and face to face sessions?
Absolutely, it’s taking the pressure and stress off, because not everyone can make it in person AND we can cover a much bigger geographical area.