Who Needs Mr Motivator?! 


Lockdown presented a whole host of problems and restrictions - none more obvious than the closure of facilities and societies that for many have become a source of familiarity and motivation. This became a particular point of concern for Age UK Hertfordshire who strives to promote the wellbeing of all older people and to help make later life in Hertfordshire a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

In South Oxhey, Three Rivers, the Clitheroe Centre for Health and Wellbeing is at the heart of the community, with its wide variety of activities and services that give clients the opportunity to socialise and relax. It encouraged the older generation to keep active in a supportive environment, surrounded by friends.

However, following the pandemic and restrictions, like so many other facilities, the Clitheroe Centre was forced to shut its doors - leaving its regular attendees to stay at home facing certain issues around physical conditioning. Something needed to be done so, with the help of Herts Sports Partnership, Age UK Hertfordshire applied for £966 from the Tackling Inequalities Fund!

This went towards the creation of a DVD - filmed by a local filmmaker - featuring centre staff participating in seated exercises. This way, clients were able to keep moving in a comfortable yet beneficial way; whilst seeing people they know, sustaining their connection as the Clitheroe family. One hundred DVDs were sent out and the footage has been viewed over three hundred times on YouTube, suggesting that non-members have also been able to gain from the tutorials!

Member of the Clitheroe Centre Margaret has spoken about how this has been able to help both her physical and mental wellbeing, over a period where she would be facing physical deconditioning. "I have thoroughly enjoyed the DVD and seeing the familiar faces of the staff who 'star' in the DVD has been lovely. It has been great to feel part of the 'Clitheroe family' even though I am stuck at home - Thank you".

With the fluctuating cases and change in lockdown rules, the Centre has had to close and reopen several times over the last year. Yet, with the DVD, members will always have a link to Clitheroe and be able to depend on the footage when in need of physical activity. Although the Centre officially returned in March 2021, there are still regular users of the DVD, it provides a fantastic alternative for those unable to make meetings or want to exercise from home and will 'fill the gap' if lockdown does come back into motion.

Carla Johnson, Head of Active Ageing at Age UK Hertfordshire, commented, "The project has enabled us to provide our clients with a 'tool' that they can use to maintain/improve fitness at home. This is something we can encourage them to do if another lockdown occurs or if we would need to close the centre for any other reason such as severe weather. The DVD means we can maintain a connection with our clients beyond the centre, which has become more valuable since COVID. The DVD reinforces our message regarding the importance of physical exercise in order to maintain or improve independence and allows clients to do this at a time that is suitable for them. Having the staff from the centre appear in the DVD gives the DVD a real 'personalised' feel to it, the clients that watch the DVD know the people in the video - they are familiar faces and a way of us supporting clients during those time we are not able to physically be with them."

A copy of the recording can be seen below: 

You can find more information about Age UK Hertfordshire, including details of their services, activities and events, by visiting https://www.ageuk.org.uk/hertfordshire/