A health and wellbeing studio has opened at a Salvation Army site in Kirklees as part of a trial to make exercise more accessible for older adults.
The Legacy Active Gold suite, which features specialist power-assisted exercise equipment from Honley-based manufacturer Innerva, has been developed by the social enterprise Legacy Sport to promote active ageing in the community.
Targeting the over 55s, Legacy Active Gold is housed in the Salvation Army Community Hall in Mirfield. The self-contained suite has been supported with additional funding from the local NHS delivery partner, Locala, with an additional support from the Kirklees Council innovation fund.
Local councillor Martyn Bolt, who was instrumental in helping find a location for Legacy Active Gold, said: “It is important as we get older to maintain physical activity.
“I am grateful that Mirfield has been supported with this equipment and investment from all parties and I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact it has for our ageing population.”
The suite features eight pieces of Innerva’s power-assisted equipment which cater for all abilities with settings and features designed to guide users through effective and safe exercise routines.
Wheelchair accessible, the facility sits adjacent to a welcoming refreshment area where users can socialise after their exercise sessions.
Kim Leadbeater, MP for Batley and Spen, and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport, was one of the first people to visit the site.
The former college lecturer and fitness instructor said: “This is a fantastic facility which provides a great opportunity for people of all abilities to work on their mobility, strength and overall health and wellbeing, and is an excellent example of private and voluntary stakeholders working together to improve the health of our community.
“Promoting mobility and exercise for older people works towards preventing more serious health complications later in life. And the Salvation Army is a great local facility which also provides a social space to make movement and exercise enjoyable with brilliant mental health benefits.”
Opening for a trial period of 12 months, the Mirfield suite will run five days a week with staff present at all times to support and guide users through their sessions. The trial aims to assess the impact of the Legacy Active Gold model on the community and its impact for rollout in other areas of Kirklees.
Shaun Fox, CEO of Legacy Sport, said: “After 12 years of improving the health and wellbeing of young people, we are delighted to be working with Innerva to keep the over 55s mobile, healthy and increasingly independent.
“We believe the combination of our power-assisted exercise suite and social space will ensure the Legacy Active Gold project makes a positive difference to the lives of our customers.”
Jon Hymus, managing director of Innerva, said: “We are looking forward to working with Shaun and the team on the trial.
“This important project aims to give operators and community organisations the tools to help people remain independent and socially connected for as long as possible, while improving accessibility for older people and those with long-term health conditions.”