Team at Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living on mission to enhance wellbeing of older people

Steve Shaddick taking part in an adaptive yoga session with Jo Duffin.

Steve Shaddick taking part in an adaptive yoga session with Jo Duffin. - Credit: Archant

The dedicated team at the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living is on a mission to enhance the health and wellbeing of 150 older people in the area over the coming months.

Val Crowther taking part in an adaptive yoga session with Jo Duffin.

Val Crowther taking part in an adaptive yoga session with Jo Duffin. - Credit: Archant

Positive Movement is on everyone’s lips at the centre, with the 15-week activity programme being rolled out across Baldock, Hitchin, Letchworth, Stevenage and surrounding villages last week.

With techniques drawn from a simplified form of yoga called adaptive yoga, and the posture and movement methods of the Alexander Technique, Positive Movement is a unique approach which aims to improve mobility among older people.

Steve Shaddick, who is recovering from a stroke and receives therapy at the MS Therapy Centre in Letchworth, has been doing adaptive yoga for the last few months.

“It has been really beneficial for me,” he said. “I definitely think more men should take it up.


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“There is work on my posture, my limbs and stretching and it has been brilliant.”

Val Crowther, who has been doing adaptive yoga with her friend Jean Packham for about a year, said: “You can really feel the benefits of the classes. There is lots of stretching and it is very therapeutic.”

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Jo Duffin, who teaches Val and Steve at the centre, said: “We cater to each individual’s needs.

“There can be a loss of confidence and a fear of getting older, but it is really rewarding to see members from my group improving over the course of the classes and enjoying themselves.”

Centre founder and director Roberta Meldrum said: “Decline is not inevitable, we want to give people a ‘can do’ attitude.

“Some of the stories are extraordinary about treatments changing people’s lives.

“We have had people who have not even been able to walk down the aisle at church or stand at a bus stop turn things around with our classes.”

The team is also looking for volunteers to give a couple of hours a week to help out at each session by setting up the rooms before classes, welcoming participants, making drinks and helping to clear up.

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery and Herts County Council, the cost for a session is £2.50 – which includes tea and biscuits as well.

For more information about joining one of the classes, to find out where they take place, or to volunteer email positivemovement@letchworthcentre.org, call 01462 678804 or visit www.letchworthcentre.org.

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