MP and health leaders visit project aimed at helping disabled and isolated older people - The Solihull Observer

MP and health leaders visit project aimed at helping disabled and isolated older people

Solihull Editorial 10th May, 2024   0

A SOLIHULL project which helps disabled and isolated older people to become more physically active welcomed Meriden MP Saqib Bhatti and health and care leaders.

The project, run by social enterprise community group Arden Active CIC, is being funded by a small grant from the £21.95million Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System’s Fairer Futures Fund (FFF).

Arden Active CIC, which works in schools, social care, disability groups, refugees and asylum seekers, is using its FFF small grant to deliver a 48-week activity programme catering for those aged over 60 across Solihull who have mental ill-health, are disabled and/or live in isolation.

The programme also enables social interaction and activities include bowls, archery, tennis, table tennis, orienteering and yoga.

Alex Thompson, director at Arden Active CIC, said: “It’s well documented that sport can help mental and physical health and we are delighted to have been awarded a FFF small grant to help residents in Solihull.

“It has been great to see participants’ confidence levels increasing; improvements in their physical health and the benefits of more social interaction.”

Mr Bhatti joined leaders from NHS Birmingham and Solihull and Solihull Council at a session being run by Arden Active CIC to learn more about the FFF and projects it is funding.

More than 50 new and innovative projects are now underway, funded via the FFF and delivered at a grassroots level through or in collaboration with the voluntary and community sector.

David Melbourne, chief executive of NHS Birmingham and Solihull, said: “We are delighted to be able to invest in such a broad range of projects, all designed to improve the way our patients and citizens receive care in their local communities.

“The FFF is really showcasing the high level of innovation and forward thinking locally, as well as the commitment and passion by the voluntary and community sector.”

The FFF has been split on a fair share basis between Birmingham and Solihull, with £18million allocated for Birmingham, and £3.95million for Solihull.

The projects being funded are diverse and aimed at those who are the most underrepresented and underserved who are often facing the biggest disparities in health inequalities.

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