News - Tags: Physical Activity

Tags: Physical Activity

Breaking down barriers to staying active: Oxfordshire Association for the Blind

Posted: Wed, 06 May 2020 13:31

Breaking down barriers to staying active: Oxfordshire Association for the Blind

At Active Oxfordshire, we're passionate about breaking down barriers to sport and physical activity. With a national lockdown in place and significant disruption to everyday life, this is more important than ever. We're very grateful to Nathan Tree from Oxfordshire Association for the Blind for sharing his inspirational advice and top tips in our latest blog:

Living with sight loss often puts up barriers when it comes to being active. But when coupled with social isolation keeping us all at home and social distancing limiting how people can be guided, it can feel like an impossibility.

As an avid Blind Ice Hockey player myself, having my schedule cancelled hit me hard. I am used to training at least twice a week and going to the gym in between. The lockdown has also meant that my annual trip to the Canadian National Blind Ice Hockey Tournament in Toronto was postponed until further notice. As this is my passion, I started the lockdown struggling to be motivated in maintaining my fitness for the future.

The government guidance states that we are allowed to leave the house once a day for exercise but because social distancing is in effect, it can be very hard to do this alone. I try to go out walking/ running once a day and am fortunate enough that my partner can be there to guide me and tell me when to avoid other people. I appreciate that this may not be possible for all, so I have created some tips for exercising alone in public:

Getting active in public

  • Use a visual aid such as a symbol cane or blind running vest so people know you may not be able to see or avoid them.
  • Stick to areas you know well.
  • Try to go at less busy times.
  • See if you can go with someone who can guide you at a safe distance.

Staying active at home

There are plenty of exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home without the need for specialist equipment. You could take a leaf from Captain Tom Moore's book and walk laps of your garden, or do what I have done and create weights using heavier items in the house such as a money box full of coins or some water bottles.

The Oxfordshire Association for the Blind partners with Jessamy Chanel Yoga to deliver online chair yoga each Friday at 10am using Zoom. This is a low impact exercise that is available free and adaptable for all ages and ability levels. Find out more at

Audio described workout programs available online

The British Blind Sport first steps program is also a great way to get children exercising at home:

To anyone with a visual impairment who finds it hard to get active, is just starting out or is inactive at the moment, I'd advise you to use the resources available, try a range of activities, see what works for you and – most of all - keep trying.

Tags: Blog, Physical Activity

Strength & Balance exercise class Support Volunteer

Posted: Thu, 06 Jun 2019 16:01

Strength & Balance exercise class Support Volunteer

Strength & Balance exercise class Support Volunteer

Are you looking for a truly rewarding experience? Would you like to make a practical difference to older people in your community who have had a fall or are worried about their balance?

No need to know about exercise.

Strength & Balance Community Classes that are in need of a volunteer

We would really like a regular weekly commitment from you for 15 mins. before and after the class (i.e. a total of 1.5 hrs.)

 Bodicote Village Hall Mondays 1.15 - 2.15 pm

 Masonic Hall, Wallingford Thursdays11.15 - 12.15 pm

 Storton Lodge, Goring Mondays 11.15 - 12.15

 Sonning Common Village Hall Fridays 1.30 - 2.30 pm

 All Saints Youth and Community Hall, Didcot Thursdays 1.15 - 2.15

 Benson Village Hall Mondays 10 - 11 am

 Grove Village Hall Tuesdays 10.30 - 11.30 am

 Preston Road Communitys Centre, Abingdon, Tuesdays 9.45 - 10.45

 Preston Road Community Centre, Abingdon, Tuesdays 11 - 12 am

Generation Games is Age UK Oxfordshire's physical activity service. Their main focus is on Strength & Balance falls prevention classes which they are rapidly rolling out across the county. These classes help to improve a person's balance, muscle strength as well as confidence. Currently there are 41 classes with a plan to expand further. The Strength & Balance classes are taught by highly trained Level 4 Postural Stability instructors. People may attend the class if they are worried about their balance or they may have been referred by their GP or healthcare professional.

Purpose of this volunteer role: To assist the instructor with practical tasks during the class.

What you can expect:

 Full induction and initial training session on what you will be doing

 A member of Generation Games to accompany you on your first session

 We ask you to complete our volunteer application forms; depending on your location and ability to travel you can expect to start volunteering within 2 weeks

 Experience within a well-respected charity

 Helping in one of the most practical ways to enable older people who are worried about their balance to reduce falls

 Reasonable travel costs and agreed expenses reimbursed

 A friendly and supportive environment

Main tasks:

 Help with setting up the room for the class, taking the register help with handing out resistance bands during the class

 Assisting individuals who may require more one to one support e.g. finger tip support for getting out of a chair or adding additional chairs for support in front of the person when needed

 Prepare and share a cup of tea or coffee with the participants after the session and enjoy a chat in some sessions

Desirable qualities and skills:

 An interest in helping older people and a desire to persuade them of the benefits of getting active

 A motivated and enthusiastic individual

 Reliable with good time keeping

 A non-judgmental and empathetic attitude

 Good communication and listening skills

 Proactive but also able to take instruction

 Ability to adhere to Age UK Oxfordshire's Boundaries, Health and Safety, Policies and Procedures. Volunteers must be able to build professional relationships with clients, within clearly defined boundaries.

Recruitment: Application Form, training qualification, 2 reference checks

Contact: Anna McKay, Marketing Manager, Generation Games 01235 849 403

Tags: Generation Games, Oxford City, Physical Activity, Volunteer