Katherine Low Settlement was made a direct award by Wandsworth Council to continue our community falls prevention work with older residents in Wandsworth. This funding is part of the national Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) which is allocated to local authorities in England to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and support local public health. The award recognises that older residents have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and associated lockdown measures and require interventions to support them to regain their strength and balance in order to prevent falls.
What follows is an interim report about the work so far:
About Katherine Low Settlement
Katherine Low Settlement has worked with older people since its conception in 1924.They are a core part of the community that we continue to work with. We provide, often in partnership, a range of projects and activities for older people including Health and Wellbeing, Creative Arts, Intergenerational Work, Connecting Neighbours & Active Participation and Trips / Outings. We are locally focused, responsive to need, co-produce our work programme and achieve effective and significant outcomes for older people.
All exercise sessions for KLS Elders Service meet the following requirements:
Our eligibility criteria are that attendees are aged 60+, living in Wandsworth, with a preference for Battersea.
From September’21-end-January’22 we ran the following exercise sessions:
Chair-based exercise sessions
Walking-based exercise sessions
Dance for Life sessions
We agreed to meet the following targets with our exercise programme:
|Trained tutors (supported by volunteers) will deliver a range of walking groups, dance and exercise classes on a weekly basis.
|Minimum 72 sessions
Minimum 160 regular participants and 500 attendances — Regular attendance is defined as attending at least one session every two weeks
1-2-1 support (including transport) provided to a minimum of 25 members
From September’21 to January’22 we have held 94 exercise classes, with 121 older members attending regularly (there are members who attend ad hoc or one-off but we don’t record these numbers here). Overall there were 865 attendances to the classes. We have had 10 amazing volunteers supporting the sessions and our paid staff.
Numbers are below target due to Covid restrictions and lack of a minibus driver to bring frailer elders to the exercise sessions. We’ve had to restrict the group numbers due to Covid, so that we can continue to hold smaller but safer groups, as many of our elders are clinically vulnerable. We have also lacked a minibus driver. It’s been very difficult to recruit one, though we have been trying for 5 months. We know this recruitment difficulty is shared by other older people’s services in the borough, as we’ve been meeting with them regularly. This does reflect the national driver shortage and hike in wages that drivers can now command. We are re-thinking our recruitment strategy and roles yet again. As a result we have not been able to offer transport to bring in our frailer members to attend these exercise sessions.
The following tables and graph give a breakdown of the classes:
Table 1: Sessions run from September 2021to January 2022
|Number of classes
|Numbers of elders regularly attending
|Numbers of volunteers
|Parkinson’s Dance class
|Walking Photography group
|Dance for Life
|Chair Tai Chi
|6-week programme, then repeated with new members.
3 sessions per week
|Chair-based exercise class
|Zoom chair dance class
|Men’s Walking Group
|Ad-hoc due to Covid staff shortages
|New Chair-based Dance
(started Jan 23rd 2022)
|New Dance Fit
(started Jan 23rd 2022)
Age: Members attending the sessions range from ages 55 –94, with a mean age of 71.
Gender: Most people attending are women (80:20 ratio) with men more likely to attend Tai Chi and walking groups (though a small number do attend chair exercise and wellbeing sessions).
Sexual orientation: We do not currently ask questions related to sexual orientation, though members do choose sometimes to disclose it to us. One person raised that they are a gay man.
Carers: 10 were carers for a spouse or family member.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about this work then please get in touch with Sarah Goodall, Head of Elders Team, on 020 7223 2845 and [email protected]