OAP’s vow to keep fit after cuts

Pensoners take part in the final Get Fit While You Sit class at Woodhouse library which has been cancelled by Sheffield City Council due to cut backs

Pensoners take part in the final Get Fit While You Sit class at Woodhouse library which has been cancelled by Sheffield City Council due to cut backs

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A group of plucky pensioners have set up their own fitness club after their council-funded class fell victim to the budget cuts.

The Get Fit While You Sit class at Woodhouse library had been funded by Activity Sheffield for elderly people.

But a council representative arrived just before the class in April to tell members the session would be closing - with immediate effect.

Upset pensioners persuaded the council to run one more session before finishing the class for good, and now have their sights on setting up on their own session.

Joan Singleton, aged 87, who has been going for four years, said the service attracts up to 16 people a week.

“They told us the decision to close us down is purely down to money,” she said.

“They say not enough people come to classes but it fluctuates because sometimes people don’t feel up to it.

“The space in the library is free so we only need to raise the money to pay for the instructor, which is about £30 to £40.

“I think it’s ridiculous that the council is closing it down for the sake of that much money per week, but we are going to try and carry on without them.”

She said the group had raised enough money to continue classes for a month.

“We’ll make ourselves a little group and set up a bank account and do it properly,” said Joan.

Paul Billington, Sheffield Council’s director of culture and environment, said : “This session at Woodhouse Library was an extra session and Activity Sheffield delivered it funded by the South East Community Assembly.

“Now that all Community Assembly funding has been cut, Activity Sheffield had to cancel this particular session, but we are continuing to run a similar long-standing, core funded elderly people session across the road in the Salvation Army building.

“Activity Sheffield has already arranged to go and meet with the group to offer support in looking for any available funding to continue the session.”

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