Around twenty percent of West Somerset residents live on their own, many are disadvantaged by rural and social isolation and transport links are poor. These issues, combined with the fact that West Somerset does not have a public pool, can make staying fit and well hard for some isolated or older people.
PALS (Proactive Lifestyle) is water fitness club in West Somerset which helps around 120 people from 18 to 80 (most are over 60 and live alone) with injuries or illnesses who need to exercise but who can’t adopt conventional means to do this. Gentle aqua aerobics sessions by trained instructors aim to help members to become fitter, more mobile, healthier and happier. Local doctors, physiotherapists and health professionals promote our club because it has been the key to fitness and recovery for so many.
The demand for swimming sessions is high, with 30 new members joining PALS in the last 12 months, and the number of sessions per week has risen from 3 to 5. The existing instructors and lifeguards were already stretched, and there were three volunteers keen to be trained to take sessions. A grant of £1,500 from Somerset Community Foundation will enable PALS to train the extra volunteer staff (a one-off cost), and in turn help the organisation become future-proof and able to better cope with the increasing demand for its services.
Barbara Middleton, Chairman of PALS said “Somerset Community Foundation has been a lifeline – supporting us with grant funding to allow the group to develop quickly. This week we’ve been granted £1500 to help us train 3 new instructors over the coming weeks and they are full of enthusiasm. Thank you SCF!”
If you would like to find out more about PALS, volunteer for them or join the group, you'll find everything you need on their website.