Ever wondered what happens when two AHPs join forces with Scotland’s largest charity for older people?
At Age Scotland we have been actively promoting active and healthy ageing through our Let’s Get Moving campaign. This campaign has been running throughout 2016/17 with the specific aim of engaging older people in physical activity and increasing their social connection.
As AHPs we know the impact that regular physical activity and exercise can have on our well-being and enjoyment of life. We especially sought to encourage people to become proactive about building activity into their everyday lives -particularly if they aren’t currently doing so.
As part of the campaign we launched a Coastline Challenge around the 6120 miles of Scotland’s beautiful coastline. We asked our member groups, the general public, our staff and volunteers to walk, roll, jog, dance, swim their way around Scotland, whatever modality best suited! There was opportunity to sign up for a stretch of the coastline or to donate virtual miles from any regular activities that people were participating in or wanted to give a go. All achievement was welcomed no matter if was one mile or twenty one miles!
We were very excited to partner with Living it Up to help spread the word about our challenge. Working to a shared vision, to promote health and wellbeing for the 50 plus age group, amongst others, Living it Up kindly hosted our Coastline Challenge on their website and we were able to encourage even more people to become involved.
And people did get involved!! A record number of our member groups took part and regularly fed their miles into the challenge total. One of our groups, the Nifty Fifties from Stirlingshire contributed over 2 million steps from their group’s activities. Although we weren’t specifically looking to fund raise, another of our groups Grangemouth Community Care found having a fundraising target added to their motivation and walked their way to £510 in sponsorship for their participation in the coastline challenge.
It is a lovely thing to be greeted every Monday morning by photographs of active older people sharing their coastline adventures. Even our ‘Reluctant Ramblers’ seem to have enjoyed themselves enormously
Our overall Coastline Challenge total was announced at Age Scotland’s annual conference in Perth on 29th of March by one of our keynote speakers Professor Dawn Skelton. Did we meet the challenge? – indeed we did – more than 3 times over!! Our grand total was a whopping 22,187 miles, 3.6 times the distance of Scotland’s coastline.
And our staff and volunteers were keen participants too, walking the talk for Age Scotland by donating a good chunk of miles from their regular activities.
It certainly helped to raise awareness about being active and we identified a lot of keen walkers, cyclers and swimmers – who were only a little bit competitive!!
Thank you everyone for rising to the challenge. Age Scotland will be promoting a new Let’s Get Moving Challenge during 2017 and if you would like to get involved in this or would like any more information on the campaign please contact Jenny Ackland and Yolanda Strachan at Age Scotland.