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Lockdown exercise scheme celebrates 100th participant

A free, online lockdown exercise programme run by Halo Leisure for anyone feeling low, lonely, or living with dementia in Bridgend county borough has welcomed its 100th participant.

Seventy-nine year old Carol Hopkin used to visit Ogmore Valley Life Centre weekly for exercise sessions but with the lockdown was left feeling isolated and at home doing very little.

Deciding to join Halo’s Feel Good for Life digital programme this month, she became the 100th participant, helping her stay active and connect with new and old friends online.

As part of the digital project, Halo provide all those joining the programme with a free iPad loan helping them to join in with exercise classes as well as quizzes, singalongs and more.

Halo’s Active Communities Manager Ryan Statton said: “We know how much local people have missed the social connection as well as the activities and exercise.

“And we know that connecting with others is vital for health, lowering anxiety, improving immunity and encouraging activity.

“It made absolute sense to take Feel Good for Life online and to find ways to deliver it to those who are on their own.

“Our ‘Feel Good for Life’ team had an iPad delivered to Carol's door, and online Zoom and IT training lined up so she could use it to connect with family or play games online and join virtual exercise sessions with the Halo team. This is all about helping Carol and others like her to enjoy home based movement and mingling.”

Halo, a social enterprise and registered charity, launched the award-winning Feel Good for Life programme three years ago with funding from National Lottery and Bridgend County Borough Council.

Since its launch, the programme has welcomed scores of vulnerable people to the county borough’s leisure centres for sports and social activities.

Additional support from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and the local authority helped the programme to move online during the coronavirus pandemic.

Carol said the class and iPad had made a huge difference, adding: "It's certainly motivating me to stay active with the online exercise classes, and I love seeing friends and family on the Zoom calls.”

Classes are available for free while centres are closed due to Covid restrictions on the Halo Leisure app or on the Halo website. You will need to set up a Halo online account to view the classes.

To take a look at the online classes available, visit the Halo Leisure centre website or call 01656 678851.

Once you’ve booked your space, you will receive an invite and instructions on how to attend. And if you’re not very confident with technology, the team will loan you an iPad, train you how to use it and be on-hand to help you through it. Family members or carers are also encouraged to contact Halo if they think it would help those they care for.


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