10 May 2021

Healthy at Home! Timebank helps local residents with wellbeing

Woolmer Forest Timebank, a group of individuals and organisations who swap skills and exchange support in the Whitehill and Bordon area, have been organising activities for local residents to help improve wellbeing during the pandemic.

“Keeping in touch socially and being physically active during the Covid-19 outbreak is very important for your physical and mental health,” said Rachel Taylor, one of the Timebank’s part-time co-ordinators. ”It can enhance your mood, wellbeing and energy levels by helping to reduce stress anxiety and depression.”

The Timebank has been keeping spirits up by holding regular activities on zoom that are open to everybody.

Get yourself Active is a programme funded by Sport England and led by Disability Rights UK. The programme was set up for everyone but designed with people who have disabilities or long term illnesses in mind to get active in a way that is right for them.

The Timebank has held fortnightly Get Active at Home sessions to get people moving together and has reached out to a range of participants including individuals living alone and sheltered housing residents.

A clip from the Get Active at Home video with Ben Clark

Ben Clark from Adapt To Perform has produced several videos for the programme; he has been an inspiration to the Timebank. He explains, “With my sessions I really try to aim for them to be as adaptable as possible so that most people can get fit and healthy regardless of their situation. This can make a massive difference on an individual’s life not just for their fitness but their mental well-being and independence. During lockdown this has been especially important due to more disabled people being more isolated than ever.”

A resident from The Firefly Club in Bordon participates regularly saying, “I thoroughly enjoy the Get Active at home sessions. They are good fun and make you feel better emotionally and physically.”

Timebank members have also organised walks, cycle rides and helped with gardening tasks. These support others and encourage wellbeing at the same time.

Timebank members on a socially distanced walk

Every Sunday the Timebank holds a session for people to get together and chat. The regular Sunday social sessions on zoom offer intergenerational support and friendship thus reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation and improving mental health.

Timebank member Yvonne regularly joins the Timebank Sunday socials and says, “I look forward to the Sunday socials, I find them beneficial as having been out in the morning I come home to an empty house with nothing going on and so it’s important to me to have something to look forward to and meeting friends for a chat.”

The Timebank has also embarked on a new project called Timebanking Together. Claire Coxwell, Timebank manager explains the project. “We have identified individuals with a disability, a long term illness or mental health issues who have a desire to feel healthier or fitter.  These individuals could be Timebank members or people new to the Timebank living in and around the Whitehill & Bordon area. They are buddied up with a Timebank member; the buddy will help them move towards their health & fitness goals.”

East Hampshire District Council in partnership with Abri, Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust and Community First are delivering a Spring Into Health Festival in May 2021.

The Timebank is offering 6 activities during the Festival. Take a look at what is going on by visiting the East Hampshire District Council website.

If you would like to find out more about Woolmer Forest Timebank contact us at timebank@cfirst.org.uk or visit our website and take a look at our events calendar and our list of offers and requests. Everybody is welcome!

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