“It’s given them their independence back; it’s given them their lives back.”

New Love to Move sessions in Essex and London are having a big impact. Liz, a staff member at Peaceful Place said; “it’s given them their independence back, it’s given them their lives back. They have increased confidence, self-assurance, mental recall, and they are more emotionally positive. Their finger co-ordination is growing which means it is having a knock-on effect on their art and their creativity as a result. People are joining in with things in general more because their self-esteem is growing.”

Sport for Confidence

Sport for Confidence is a social enterprise organisation that utilises sport and physical activity as a preventative measure to enhance a person’s health and well-being. The Occupational Therapists and Coaches have trained as Love to Move deliverers and have set up Love to Move sessions in Leisure Centres across Essex and London.

The session has been running for 6-8 months now and many of the participants are bussed in from an activity centre called Peaceful Place, which aims to give people living with dementia, often diagnosed with young-onset dementia, sport, and exercise at least twice per week.
There are 24 participants in the session ranging in age from 35 up to 90 years old and most of them are up on their feet dancing by the end of the session.

Liz who works at Peaceful Place explained that when her group return after a Love to Move session, they chat more and socialise more with each other, the mood is ‘upbeat’ but also calmer in general. She said, “it’s not just uplifting for them [the participants], it lifts the staff up as well – we’ve seen the journey they have made.”

Life-changing Improvements

Megan, an Occupational Therapist, and the lead deliverer for the session today, said; “I’ve noticed a difference in their physical ability and cognition, they have the ability to follow along better and do more movements.”

Pat has been coming to the session with her carer for 4 weeks and has progressed from refusing to come into the room in her wheelchair on week one, to taking part for some of the session in her wheelchair in week two, to now walking through the door without a wheelchair and fully participating.

Jo has young onset dementia and Huntingdon’s disease and has been coming to the sessions for 6 months. Before, she was struggling to keep her arms and legs still, but now she has more control over them. Her confidence has grown so much, she participates fully in the whole session and even gets up to dance in the centre of the circle. After the session, Jo told Louise ‘I love it here, I love coming here!” When asked how Love to Move makes her feel, she said ‘happy! with a massive beaming smile.

Louise Roberts said “It was an absolute joy to see the Sport for Confidence Love to Move session – the participants and staff were so excited to share their experience of Love to Move with me and it was a truly overwhelming experience to hear what they had to share. Some participants said that they could not describe in words how much it meant to them and just wanted to thank me. This is exactly why we do what we do at the British Gymnastics Foundation. It was an honour to be there”.  

Sport for Confidence hope to set up more Love to Move sessions over the coming months and have now trained most of their staff to deliver the programme.

Contact Details
For more information about Love to Move please contact: Louise Roberts on 07739512197 or email [email protected]