A Rural Community Charity (RCC) has seen its first Active Buddies scheme completed.

After being an active, outgoing person all her life, Daisy suffered poor health about five years ago. Since then, she has struggled with her health, fitness and confidence. She asked for an Active Buddy to help her to become more physically active.

Shropshire RCC’s Wise & Well Team started the Active Buddy pilot project in Oswestry in April 2017, under “Everybody Active Shropshire” funding from Shropshire Council’s Public Health department.

Liz offered to be an Active Buddies volunteer mentor and, after the initial checks and training, the Active Buddies co-ordinator matched Liz and Daisy. From a long list of possible activities, Daisy decided to try the Over-50s exercise sessions in Oswestry Leisure Centre.

Despite Daisy finding the class very demanding because of poor strength and balance, she and Liz continued attending the class every week.

Daisy gradually feeling stronger and more confident until she could go into the class on her own and complete a full hour of exercises.

After the 6 accompanied sessions, Daisy has made friends in the class and is happy to continue attending the Oswestry Leisure Centre classes on her own.

Still keen to try new activities, Daisy is now searching out people who might go swimming with her at Oswestry Leisure Centre.

"I have enjoyed having my Buddy,” Daisy said.

“At first, just meeting my Buddy for the first time seemed a huge challenge. In fact going to the class with my Buddy and then going in on my own for the first time were all new challenges. Now I am more mobile and feel stronger and have the confidence to go to my exercise classes on my own.”

Liz has also enjoyed mentoring Daisy. She told the Active Buddies coordinator: “I am so proud of Daisy. She has made such good progress and is determined to keep going. I have enjoyed watching her confidence grow and I have got just as much out of it as she has.

"I am looking forward to mentoring my next Buddy.”

This pilot is in the Oswestry area only but there is still space for new volunteers and people who would like a Buddy. To find out more, please contact susie.hancock@shropshire-rcc.org.uk or phone Susie on 01743 342160.