The #MoveMoreEatWell partnership plan is driving action to support and enable everyone who lives and works across Cardiff and the Vale to move more and eat well.
Working with partner, Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC), a Move More, Eat Well Grant scheme was introduced to support community activity. One of the organisations within Cardiff that benefited as a result of the grant was Exercise for All Wales.
Exercise for All Wales is a Community Association that campaigns for better access to inclusive fitness and self-managed exercise in the community for the long term disabled. Established from lived experience, Chair of Exercise for All, Radha Nair Roberts, is committed to improving the physical and mental health of disabled people by encouraging and enabling them to move more.
Having lost mobility due to a long-term condition in 2015, Radha felt that there was nothing she could do to help herself to manage the pain she was experiencing. Searching for answers and solutions with other wheelchair users, Radha was encouraged to explore exercise as a management technique.
“Exercise was so inaccessible to me, but it is invaluable to help manage the pain I experience on a daily basis. Having seen and felt these benefits first-hand, Exercise for All was an opportunity to create a collective community that helps other wheelchair users to access solutions that help to improve our health and wellbeing, but also support to prevent secondary health problems,” Radha explained.
Move More Eat Well Grant
Learning about the Move More Eat Well grant through C3SC, Exercise for All Wales aimed to enable exercise for physically disabled, wheelchair bound beneficiaries through a series of innovative ideas to support them to move more.
Introducing a new programme of activity, Exercise for All Wales brought exercise solutions to individuals in a wheelchair. The funding enabled them to design an 8-week training programme, working closely with a personal trainer, Faye, who specialised in disabled fitness, to ensure the programme was suitable for the individual and their carers.
Although planned as face-to-face sessions, Exercise for All Wales adapted their training programme to ensure a COVID-19 safe environment for their participants. As a result, following initial consultation, hour-long Zoom based sessions were designed, to support wheelchair users to move more and provide specialist equipment for seated exercise at home.
One of the individuals to benefit from this programme of activity was Joshua Reeves, a 24-year-old from Leckwith, who was able to challenge himself to participate in exercise sessions that had been tailored to build strength and confidence. These digital sessions enabled Joshua to build a daily exercise routine and experience the benefits of moving more.
Joshua commented, “As a disabled person, it can be very difficult to keep fit and exercise. I was approached by Exercise for All with the prospect of the new programme and I didn’t know what to expect but I wanted to give it a go. It was important to me that I not only improved my hand and leg function and increased strength in my left arm, but also I wanted to lose some weight and live healthier.
“Working with Faye was fantastic, she made me feel like a professional and very good about myself when exercising. She also helped me to introduce healthier alternatives into my diet and I felt happier, stronger and much more relaxed.
“The sessions with Faye were hard, but she encouraged me to push myself and remain on track. Also, I have been able to continue to do the exercises she taught me with my support, who she trained alongside me to ensure I can still exercise at home, despite the programme coming to an end.
“I feel very glad that I took up this opportunity and I would encourage anyone else in the same position to do the same. Not only have I seen and felt the benefits physically, but also mentally. Moving more has helped me regain strength, lose weight and improve my mental wellbeing and I am much happier as a result.”
For more information on Joshua’s Move More story, please watch his video by following this link.
Exercise for All Wales remain committed to enabling wheelchair users with access to exercise support and equipment to help them to move more, reduce the risk of secondary conditions and to improve mental wellbeing.
To find out more about Exercise for All and the support that they provide individuals across Cardiff, please visit www.efa.cymru.
Additionally, to find out more about Cardiff’s Third Sector Council, please visit: www.c3sc.org.uk