Active over 60s would boxercise, bolero and bake given the opportunity

Monday, 13 March 2017 Ladies dancingRoyal Voluntary Service has linked up with Prudential UK to encourage older people to stay active and engaged, as research in the South East reveals that many are shying away from taking up new hobbies and interests, or are just not sure how to go about trying new things.

The findings are released today as we launches First Time for Everything today - a year-long campaign giving older people across the UK the opportunity to try something new for free in their local community. Local activities will take place at 11 sites throughout 2017 and will include International Dancing, Art and seasonal events.

Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of over 60s in the South East would be keen to try a new activity, although one in five (20 per cent) are concerned that there are not enough opportunities to enable older people to take up activities in their area, according to research by older people’s charity, Royal Voluntary Service.

Given a choice of new activities to try for the first time, research found that exercise classes (20 per cent), ballroom dancing and woodwork (both 15 per cent) topped the list. Trying their hand at baking appealed to 14 per cent and acting to eight per cent.

One in eight (11 per cent) over 60s said they don’t take part in any activities, with a lack of mobility (33 per cent), not wanting to go somewhere where they didn’t know anyone (20 per cent) and activity costs (13 per cent) cited as some of the biggest barriers for older people across the country.

"Staying active and socialising are important at any age but when you’re older, they are crucial to keeping fit and well. Ageing is no barrier to trying new activities which is why we are keen to encourage older people to enjoy the benefits that participation in a range of interesting activities brings.

"There are significant numbers of older people who are not engaged in social activities and for whom loneliness and inactivity are a real problem. The First Time for Everything campaign aims to improve quality of life for older people by providing a range of stimulating and enjoyable new social activities, delivered by our volunteers and staff within local communities."

David McCullough, chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service

"We hope older people, their carers and families will come along to our First Time for Everything events in Banbury where they can enjoy interesting activities, food and company in a friendly, welcoming environment. There will also be information available about services for older people in the local community."

Steve Kilsby, Service Manager for the Royal Voluntary Service Cornhill Centre

"We are delighted to be starting a partnership with Royal Voluntary Service and launching First Time for Everything. Staying connected with people and learning new skills are key ways we can all age well. Our campaign will provide more opportunities for older people to do just that and help them get the most out of life."

Guy Dunlop, Executive Director at Prudential UK

Many older people in the South East are already active, with 71 per cent walking, fishing or gardening to keep fit. Nearly a third (31 per cent) play sport or go to an exercise class, and more than a quarter (28 per cent) participate in social activities like lunch clubs and coffee mornings. One in four (25 per cent) give their time to charity by fundraising and volunteering.

Royal Voluntary Service provides services which enrich the lives of people in the community, at home and in hospital. We run services and activities all across Britian, visit our get help section to find out more about local services and activities to take part in.

For further information

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteering charities in Britain powered by more than 35,000 volunteers who regularly provide practical help to over 100,000 older people in their homes, communities and in hospitals.

To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.

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