Our Community Grant Prevents Local Group Closure

Published: 22/05/2019

Our Community Grant Scheme has enabled Age UK's Exercise & Socialise group that meets in Madginford Hall, Bearsted not only to grow but become self-sufficient. We recently visited to see how the group was getting on following the funding we provided and were delighted to hear about the difference we had made!

Our Community Grant Scheme has enabled Age UK's Exercise & Socialise group that meets in Madginford Hall, Bearsted not only to grow but become self-sufficient.

In May 2017 we gave the group a grant of £500 because it was running low on funding, without which it was at risk of closing.


The grant went towards some new exercise bands and subsidising the hall for the first year to make it easier for people to get along.

We recently visited to see how the group was getting on following the funding we provided and were delighted to hear about the difference we had made!

The group is now a thriving community and has grown from eight regular attendees to now over 20. It has become a lifeline for those who attend, with one member, Pat, explaining:
I would be in a wheelchair if it was not for this group. We go home exhilarated and absolutely love it. We kill ourselves with exercises and it is so good to chat and make friends etc!

I go home every day feeling invigorated and am really put through my paces with the various board games that help keep my brain active.
Cynthia, who is the group's fitness instructor and a big part of its success received a community award this year for her work with Exercise & Socialise. She commented: 
The group makes a big difference because it helps people keep active which is very important.

There is one member who used to be a fitness instructor herself, but now has Motor Neurone Disease and early stages of dementia.

After a few sessions, she is now less stiff which may seem small, but has had a big impact on her quality of life.
Karen, who oversees the group from Age UK said:
We rely heavily on voluntary support and are so grateful for the funding from Bluebird Care towards this project. It has been wonderful to see it flourishing and the difference it has made to the members.

Bluebird Care support us in many different ways and it is through the support we receive that we are able to impact even more people every day.