Cabinet to consider plans for growing our Barnsley Older People Physical Activity Alliance

Cabinet members will meet this week to discuss plans to continue growing the Barnsley Older People Physical Activity Alliance (BOPPAA) over the next three years.

Run by Age UK Barnsley and funded by Barnsley Council, our innovative approach to promoting physical activity for older people has gone from strength to strength over the past two years.

More than 70 organisations are now actively involved in the Alliance, offering fun, social ways for residents over the age of 50 to stay active in their local area.

BOPPAA now offers over 180 activities across the borough for people to try, from aqua aerobics and walking sports to tai chi and exercise classes designed to improve strength and balance.

Over 2,000 people have already taken part in BOPPAA’s wide range of activities, leading the Alliance to be nominated for the Health and Social Care Award at this year’s LGC Awards.

Created to improve the support that’s available locally to help older people and prevent falls, our initial pilot of the BOPPAA programme is set to wrap up at the end of March.

Cabinet members will be asked to approve plans to bring a provider on board to continue growing the Alliance over the next three years and build on BOPPAA’s success so far.

Councillor Jo Newing, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place Health and Adults, said: “In Barnsley, we’re proud to do things differently to help our communities live happier, healthier, longer lives. It’s been great to see BOPPAA grow over the past two years, helping more older people enjoy the benefits of staying active no matter where they live.

“Whether you’re making a splash in aqua aerobics or falling in love with a walking version of your favourite sport, the pilot has made a real difference in the health and wellbeing of our older people – and they’ve been having a great time while moving more. I hope to see the Alliance continue growing over the next three years, offering more ways for people to stay active.”

BOPPAA’s innovative approach to improving health outcomes for older people has brought a wide range of benefits for residents in our communities, including:

  • Encouraging more people over the age of 50 to stay active later in life.
  • Improving people’s strength and balance, reducing their risk of falls.
  • Boosting mental wellbeing and bringing people together after the pandemic.
  • Helping more people to stay independent as they get older.

The Alliance plays a key role in preventing falls and frailty, supporting our Healthy Barnsley ambitions and Health and Care Plan priorities. The programme is supported by the Better Care Fund, recognising the positive impact it has on the wider health and care system.

To see the Alliance’s innovative approach to promoting physical activity in action, visit Barnsley Council’s YouTube channel and hear more about the impact it’s having in people’s lives.

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