Be Active supports older people to become more mobile and independent in their community. Volunteers work one-to-one for up to nine weekly sessions with people 60+ who have been prescribed physiotherapy exercises and physical activity goals. Assisting them in their exercises helps rebuild their confidence and ability to move around their home and communities. Open Age, which runs the Be Active project, is looking for volunteer activity buddies starting as soon as possible. You do not need any background in physiotherapy or with older people – just enthusiasm, commitment, empathy, a positive attitude toward empowering older people, and good communication skills. Open Age Coordinators and their NHS partners will train you and provide support throughout the programme. Once Volunteers are trained and matched with a client, they will spend about 1-2 hours with their client each week.
Please note, volunteers need to be 18 or older to work with Be Active.
You can also read about one of our volunteer's thoughts on the role:
"From the first days of volunteering, I’ve felt the difference in my client’s outlook: I saw her confidence grow with each session and I noticed the physical improvement. She was no longer scared of walking and going outside, which also meant she was not at risk of becoming isolated anymore.
I’ve also noticed a difference within myself: having these nice walks and exercise sessions with my client reminded me how important it is to get away from a computer screen from time to time and enjoy the outdoors, nice conversations, and the importance of physical activity. Being kind and supportive of another person also teaches you to be kind to yourself."
After training, Volunteers will be an activity buddy - supporting their Client one to one in their prescribed physiotherapy exercises and physical activity goals (such as increasing walking capacity to get to the local shops, for example). Each pair works together for up to nine weekly sessions, after which Volunteers help measure the Client's progress. These sessions will take place in and around the Client's home in Westminster or Kensington & Chelsea. COVID protocols regarding PPE, social distancing, and hand washing, will be observed. If COVID precautions are increased, virtual or outdoor activity may be possible (the Client's situation permitting).
- Introduction to Open Age and the Be Active Project (virtual)
- Introduction to Safeguarding guidelines (virtual)
- Clinical conditions affecting clients' mobility, practical tips to support clients safely and opportunity to practise techniques (in-person)
- Optional training from partners on topics such as engaging clients in healthy living goals