Fit as a Fiddle

From February 2011 to December 2012, Community Network worked in partnership with Age UK to deliver part of the 'isolated at home' strand of Age UK's national fit as a fiddle programme.

Ours was one of five national cascade projects set up to cover each region of England.

The project's overall aim was to train volunteers to support isolated older people over the age of 65 to improve their health and well-being. Age UK wanted to see real lifestyle improvements, encourage people to make better use of local resources and encourage a greater number of older volunteers to get involved.

Our innovative use of teleconferencing technology meant that we could use peer-support telephone groups, facilitated by volunteers, to meet the desired outcomes for Age UK. The groups were proven to get isolated older adults eating more healthily, taking part in greater amounts of physical activity and feeling more confident and satisfied in their lives. Click here to read some of the project feedback.

The project also ran a series of road shows to promote the fit as a fiddle programme to older people and the agencies that work with them.

Community Network and Age UK have now developed training packs, entitled Talking Tonics, so that other organisations and volunteers can run their own similar projects. The packs are now available from Community Network and Age UK. If you are interested please download the interested form and email this to christopher@community-network.org. With each Talking Tonics pack, comes 2 days consultancy from Community Network.

For more information about fit as a fiddle or the training packs, please call Community Network's Christopher Robertson on 020 7923 5263, or email christopher@community-network.org.

Alternatively you can call Age UK on 0800 169 8787.