Parkinson's UK has teamed up with Sport England to deliver an innovative project that will help inactive people with Parkinson's become and stay physically active.
Sport England is the national organisation that is working towards an active nation where everyone feels able to take part in sport and physical activity. Through their Active Ageing Fund they are supporting us to help people live well with Parkinson's.
The Parkinson's Power Project is targeted at people with Parkinson's aged 55 and over who are inactive. This means they're not managing to achieve 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity exercise a week.
Being active is one of the most important things people can do to maintain their health and wellbeing as they age.
At Parkinson's UK, we know that physical activity can make a significant difference to staying well with Parkinson's, and many people with Parkinson's tell us that being physically active is a huge help in their daily lives.
The project will work closely with people with Parkinson's and their families, friends and carers, healthcare professionals, physical activity and sport providers, and interested stakeholders and other charities.
The pilot work is taking place in the North East of England, trialling approaches and resources which can then be replicated across the rest of the country.
The Development Phase - 2018
During 2018 we concentrated on gathering information and insight about the barriers that inactive people with Parkinson's face to becoming more physically active. We looked at how we can help people to make changes in their daily lives that will really help them manage their symptoms.
We conducted a UK-wide survey, held regional focus groups and a 2-day co-production conference, and engaged with individuals and groups all over the country. We gathered views and comments from more than 1000 people with Parkinson's and their families and friends, healthcare and physical activity providers and a range of other interested partners to help us shape our work.
Our insight-gathering and recommendations were submitted to Sport England and we are very pleased to announce that they will be funding us for 2 years of engagement and support work in 2019 and 2020.
We will be focusing on engagement and support and working with as wide a range of people with Parkinson's as possible.
People with Parkinson's told us that they wanted a personal, tailored approach to help them become more active. Jasmine Danby, the Project Engagement Officer, will focus on building effective relationships with people involved in the project and help to facilitate attractive and enjoyable ways to become more physically active.
We also learnt that support from volunteers and buddies was something that would be effective. Anna Castiaux, the Project Support Officer, will be working on innovative volunteering projects with new people and partners to support inactive people with Parkinson's take the first steps to become and stay more physically active.
We also want to make sure that there is more information available to help people become more physically active and highlight that doing more doesn't have to be a chore.
Parkinson's Power is running in the north-east of England, and we'll be evaluating our work as we go so we can share and replicate our successes.
For more information about Parkinson's Power, please contact us at: [email protected]