Ageing Well "Changing Lifestyles" Project
Case Study from Xcite West Lothian Leisure
Introduction - Mary Female 71yrs Old - Widow
Following the death of her husband Mary felt alone, had reduced confidence, reduced physical fitness and wellbeing and was at risk of becoming socially isolated.
Mary began her wellbeing journey within the Ageing Well Project by attending a weekly dance class. Mary was outgoing and enjoyed company.
Over a short period of time after attending the Ageing Well class Mary had met new friends, increased her fitness level, increased her confidence and reduced the risk of being socially isolated.
As her confidence increased, she started to explore other options available within the Ageing Well project and spoke with the Development Officer to find out what else would be available. Recognising the skills Mary had within her life journey it was suggested that she should look at becoming an Ageing Well Volunteer.
1yr since joining as a participant Mary was ready to embark on the Volunteer journey and attended the initial training with Ageing Well and signed up to become a Walk Leader within the project.
Mary attended the walk leader training became fully qualified and started leading a weekly walking group in the local area. This gave Mary a new lease of life and responsibility which she took on board with great pride. Mary organised outings, social gatherings with the group and Christmas celebrations.
After 18months of Volunteering Mary increased her hours as a volunteer and joined other groups assisting as follows:
Buddy Swimming - Mentor for those who lacked confidence in the water.
Knit and Natter - Organising Knitting for various charities with the group.
Singing for health - Encouraging singing participation, making tea and coffee and socialising.
Tea Dance - register, collection income, tea coffee and dancing with participants.
The Difference Volunteering / Participation has made
Becoming a Volunteer and participant in a wide range of groups within the Ageing Well Project has benefited Mary as follows:
- Increased skills and confidence within the group environment
- Reduced the risk of social isolation. Increased social circle of friends.
- Increased levels of physical activity for functional fitness and wellbeing.
- Given Mary a sense of purpose and a rewarding role.
Mary in now entering her 9th year as a Volunteer with the Project and continues to play a lead role in a variety of activities on a weekly basis.