Sheffield students’ ‘keep fit’ programme for elderly wins national award

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Keep fit sessions for elderly people have won the Sheffield University students who devised them a national award.

The pioneering exercise initiative is making a real difference to the lives of elderly people across South Yorkshire.

Students were awarded £25,000 from the Ford Motor Company for their social enterprise ‘Motion’, to improve the mental, physical and emotional health and well-being of residents in local care homes.

Motion provides innovative physical exercise classes inspired by dance and games, to create modern, imaginative sessions.

The project was developed by Enactus Sheffield, a non-profit organisation that operates in 58 universities across the UK, helping student-led teams to create community development projects while developing their own leadership skills.

Sarah Bell, biomedical science student at the University of Sheffield and managing director of Enactus Sheffield, said: “Not only are we helping people to improve mobility with the exercises, which are adapted to meet individual needs, but we are enhancing their emotional well-being and reducing social isolation.

“It is so heart-warming to hear from staff and family of the residents about the difference the sessions make – one gentleman left his room for the first time in six weeks to attend one of our classes, which is remarkable.

“Motion has made a real impact on the lives of local care home residents and we are delighted that thanks to this award and funding we can extend the programme even further.”

The sessions include a range of chair, supported and standing based activities and postural stability exercises to help reduce trips and falls. Visit