A new programme is looking for mentors to help get Oswestry’s older residents more active.

Active Buddies is being led by Shropshire Rural Communities Charity in a bid to make leisure centres, gyms, exercise classes and sports clubs less daunting for those who may not be used to exercise.

Susie Hancock, from Shropshire RCC, said: “The media is full of reports which show that physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle can be as bad as smoking to increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, Stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, anxiety and depression whereas regular physical activity promotes good health and mental resilience.

“Many people hold traumatic memories of school PE lessons for the rest of their lives. For active adults, however, their exercise class or sports club can become a key part of their social life and a treasured moment each week, when they can leave behind their day-to-day worries and just have fun with their friends. After the exercise session they feel satisfied and invincible.”

She continued: “Oswestry is particularly lucky in the range of activities available for all levels of ability but the terror of walking into a class or gym for the first time can seem an impossible barrier.”

Active Buddy volunteer mentors accompany an older person to their chosen activity for the first six weeks until the person has made friends and developed their self-confidence to continue on their own. They don’t tell the person what to do and they do not give medical advice but they do listen and support people to become more active.

If you would like an Active Buddy to accompany you to a new activity, please contact the programme co-ordinator by emailing Susie.Hancock@Shropshire-rcc.org.uk or calling 01743 342160.