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3rd Dec, 2021

New Bromsgrove 'Walking Sporty Friends' scheme to help combat loneliness and isolation

A SERIES of walking sports sessions are being held in Bromsgrove to help lonely and isolated people, thanks to funding from the National Lottery’s Local Connection Fund.

And an open day for the ‘Walking Sporty Friends’ scheme is being held from 9am to 12pm on November 12 at the Bromsgrove, Cricket, Hockey and Tennis Club for people to get a taste of what is on offer.

Agencies and organisations which look after isolated and lonely people are also urged to go along to find out more.

The project is the brainchild of Alan Gormley who first piloted Walking Hockey in Bromsgrove which has since gone on to be played all around the world.

Since then, Alan has strived to make Bromsgrove a walking sports centre of excellence, introducing a number of other walking sports, including football and netball.

These activities have a proven track record of combating loneliness and isolation, providing friendship, fitness and fun.

The lottery funding has helped hold the open morning, where there will be tea, coffee and biscuits, subsidise sessions for people if cost is a barrier to them taking part, hiring facilities, buying equipment and marketing.

Alan said: “We are so pleased that we will be able to help isolated and lonely people in our communities by offering them the opportunity to try playing or volunteering at our centre where they can make friends, have fun and get fitter too.

“We’ve been brilliantly supported through the process by Age UK’s Bromsgrove Redditch and Wyre Forest team.”

As well as Age UK, local Primary Care Networks (including GPs) and Worcestershire libraries are all on board as they are ideally suited to identify isolated and lonely people.

And it is hoped more interested organisations will join.

The plan is to create a small group to work together to work out what is needed and the best way forward for the sessions.

Anyone else who knows of lonely or isolated people who could benefit or who would want to be involved should contact Alan at alan@sport-edge.co.uk or by calling 07731 366942.

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