Games Grant Legacy Funding to Dumfries and Galloway

A project initiated by Dumfries and Galloway Council, entitled ‘Let’s Motivate’, is celebrating after receiving £58,150 from the Commonwealth Games’ Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund.

The project, which is a sustainable physical activity and movement training programme for staff and volunteers working with older adults, helps older people increase their physical exercise and decrease sedentary behaviour. This was the total amount which was applied for and will be added to the existing £46,668 already contributed by Dumfries and Galloway Council towards the project.

Legacy 2014, in collaboration with The Scottish Government and Spirit of 2012, is the fund set up in the wake of The Commonwealth Games to ensure that all of Scotland benefitted from the unique opportunity the Games offered: to deliver lasting change. The true legacy of the games wasn’t just the medals or the records broken by the athletes, it was also about the lasting results. The success of the Legacy is measured in jobs; in the success of businesses; and in the number of people getting active and using sports facilities in their local communities. The £800,000 Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund, from which this award comes, aims to reach those people who are classed as physically inactive – meaning they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

A Dumfries and galloway spokesman said: “Evidence shows that being or becoming more active or less sedentary at any stage of life brings additional health benefits. The Let’s Motivate project supports older adults of all ages to be more physically active and move more. This supports the prevention and treatment of over 20 chronic conditions whilst also maintaining wellbeing. Muscle strengthening and balance activities can support older adults to be independent, help them experience improved quality of life and reduce falls. Therefore, people are able to look after and improve their own health and condition and live in good shape for longer. In addition, vulnerable people, including those with disabilities or long term conditions, or who are frail, are able to live, as far as reasonably practicable, independently and at home or in a homely setting in their community.

“The Let’s Motivate project gives staff and volunteers working with older adults the necessary skills and resources to be confident physical activity deliverers within their own settings. Training and resources are provided to the recipient organisation free of charge and can be adapted to suit the individual’s surroundings, maximising health outcomes through low level physical activity.

“The award of additional funding will now enable the Council’s project, initially developed for use within care homes, to be extended further, throughout our region and made available within other appropriate settings. The key strength of the project is that the training develops and expands the physical activity workforce and therefore widens the reach of opportunities to the most inactive older adults within our communities.

Since October 2014, when the programme was first made available across the region, 18 organisations and 83 participants have been trained to deliver the project, with 38% of our care homes involved this far. In addition to care homes the project is also being rolled out through Food Train, which enables access to older adults within their own homes, as well as Day Centres, community groups and Alzheimer’s groups. This means that to July 2015 participant sessions for Let’s Motivate have already totalled 2,778.

“Exercises within the Let’s Motivate programme include fun activity games which are available through an equipment loan scheme (Boccia, parachute activity and ‘New Age Kurling’). All these exercises and games have been chosen to reflect movements supporting the activities of daily living, cognitive function, muscle strengthening and conditioning, promote of independent living and balance, whilst also offering opportunities for social interaction, fun and improved mental wellbeing.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council Community and Customer Services Chair, Councillor Tom McAughtrie said: “I am delighted that we have accomplished such a successful funding bid through the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. This award will now enable the resources and training of the Let’s Motivate project to be rolled out across Dumfries and Galloway to all care homes and a greater number of community settings where older adults come together, such as community groups and social gatherings.”

“The benefits of this project are two-fold. One of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s priorities is to help older or vulnerable people live healthy and independent lives. The Let’s Motivate project not only supports individual wellbeing, but the result on the health of Older People in our community also generates significant cost savings to the public, private and third sectors through increasing peoples independence, enabling them to live longer in their own homes.”

“Moreover, the award will also allow additional evaluation to be carried out to provide a greater level of evidence on the success of the programme. This in turn will enable a potential wider roll out to other parts of Scotland.”