The Rainbow Foundation’s FREE ‘Active Futures’ classes are improving strength and balance

  • now taking bookings for more classes starting in March!

‘Active Futures’ is a programme of free physiotherapist led exercise classes targeting over 65’s in the Wrexham area who are at risk of falls, which is being delivered by the Rainbow Foundation.  The classes are designed to help improve your strength and balance and reduce the risk of falls and are completely free to those taking part.

The Active Futures programme launched in November and has been a huge success, with participants benefitting from the 12-week free physiotherapy exercise classes twice a week and the peer support session that follows.

‘I was suffering with dizziness and sciatica and struggling to get into town, I was getting leg spasms after 10 mins of standing’  ‘I got very good advice and physio at active futures’  ‘walking and standing is much better now, I felt I was slurping myself along like a drunken man but It’s not like that anymore, and I’m planning a break away with my daughter to Eastbourne soon’  ‘it’s been fantastic’.   said Derek Williams aged 87yrs old, who attended the course

Geraldine Vaughan Operational Manager at The Rainbow Foundation says:

“We are thrilled people are finding that Active Futures is helping with their mobility and balance, and that it has encouraged them to be more active outside of the group.  In addition to the physical health benefits, the group have enjoyed meeting other people and making new friends, which has improved their mental wellbeing too.’

‘The Active Futures groups have been supported by local Community Agents and the Social Prescribing team to address anxiety around falls and what matters to them which has led to participants being referred to the Falls Team, Social Services, Project 65 and to local group activities, such as a bereavement group and lunch club.”

The programme is held over 12 weeks, offering 2 group sessions a week.  Sessions start with a physiotherapist led exercise session, followed by an opportunity to access lifestyle and wellbeing support and to socialise with the group over a drink.

Michelle Jones, physiotherapist for Active Futures Project says:

“Physiotherapy can be very beneficial for the prevention of falls in older people. Reduced confidence is one of the biggest factors contributing to a persons risk of falls. Following a fall people can often become fearful of falling again so they may limit the amount of walking that they normally do. This in turn will have a negative impact on that persons muscle strength which is key for their mobility and also helps with their sense of balance…and so the cycle continues and physical health deteriorates until a person is no longer mobilising without assistance.”

Geraldine Vaughan, added:

‘With so many benefits to attending we hope the classes will continue to be popular.’

The Active Futures Project is being funded by Betsi Cadwaldyr Health Board as they recognise the importance of staying active as we age if we are to reduce frailty in the community and related hospital admissions. Cost to the NHS of falls is estimated to be more than £2.3 billion per year.

The next intake will start from 12th March and is available at four venues: Chirk Parish Hall, Plas Macoc swimming baths, Marchwiel Village Hall, and Penley Rainbow Centre. To book your place call The Rainbow Foundation on 01948 830730 or email direct.  This is a free course open to residents registered with a Wrexham GP.