The team at Barclays, Parkway Shopping Centre in Newbury, were put through their paces by Claire Parsons and Leanne Cooper from Winchcombe Place care home, when the duo dropped-by to demonstrate a new programme of exercise and movement classes.
Developed by award-winning social enterprise, Oomph! – which stands for Our Organisation Makes People Happy, the fun-filled exercise sessions have been introduced at Winchcombe Place. Activities coordinator, Claire, and carer, Leanne, have been professionally-trained as Oomph! exercise leaders and together they are helping residents at the care home to get moving with a host of classes such as rock ‘n’ roll dancing, cheerleading and pom-pom shaking, ‘chairobics’, and even a Zorba the Greek routine.
Winchcombe Place activities coordinator, Claire Parsons, explained: “The Oomph programme has been proven to boost the physical health, mental alertness and happiness of older adults, and it has been truly amazing to see the progress made by residents at Winchcombe Place since we started the classes at the care home. We have only been running the sessions for a short period of time; however the transformation we have seen in individuals has been overwhelming, and it is fantastic to see the smiles on people’s faces when they are taking part.
“The classes are designed to be inclusive, to suit people of all ages and levels of mobility, and we are finding they are very effective at bringing residents together socially – improving their emotional wellbeing and building confidence. Whether participating from the comfort of their favourite chair or dancing around the lounge or garden, there is always a fun party atmosphere when we are leading an Oomph! session.”
Carer, Leanne Cooper, explained why the Care UK team wanted introduce their local branch of Barclays to Oomph!: “Claire and I have been very excited about the results we are seeing at Winchcombe Place with Oomph! and we wanted to take the opportunity to take the classes out into the local community – to demonstrate just how transformative and uplifting they can be. The Barclays team were all really enthusiastic and got into the spirit of the session; and hopefully we have inspired people to find out more about Oomph! and the importance of exercise and movement when it comes to keeping well in older age.”
Caroline Westmacott, branch manager at Barclays, Parkway Shopping Centre in Newbury, said: “Claire and Leanne from Winchcombe Place are great advocates for Oomph! and the many benefits the programme can have for the wellbeing of older people; but what also came across from their session was just how much fun the different classes can be. Claire and Leanne brought their infectious energy to the bank, and it brightened everyone’s morning to get up from behind their desks and get moving.”
The Oomph! exercise programme is producing remarkable results across the UK, with a 28 per cent reduction in falls among older people participating in the classes. Residents also report a 10 per cent improvement in quality of life in just three months, while 79% of employees at participating care homes note significant improvements in job satisfaction.