West Berkshire care homes get a (buddy)boost

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Wellbeing is important for everyone. From sports fields to care homes....

Everyone’s invited

It’s ironic that most activity challenges can be off-putting for those who would probably benefit most from moving more: being faced with a seemingly unattainable goal or seeing the fitness fanatics ‘smashing it’ can be very intimidating.

That’s why we designed buddyboost to be for absolutely everyone: you can do any sort of exercise you want; it doesn’t matter how far or how fast you go; you just have to complete your 26 minutes and support your buddies to do theirs.

And, as we saw this Autumn, even if you live in a care home that doesn’t stop you from being a brilliant buddybooster.

Anyone for skittles?

Our friends at West Berkshire council had enjoyed their April buddyboost challenge so much that they signed up for another one in October and, this time, they invited the residents in three of their care homes to join in too. The buddyboost app community feed was soon filling up with the care home residents playing balloon volleyball, skittles, going for walks outside and all sorts of other exercises. What made it even better was seeing these activities alongside pictures of West Berks Council employees doing their runs, dance classes and walking their dogs.

Socialising (and a silver medal)

Zoe Williams, manager of Notrees Care Home, was delighted with the impact of buddyboost:

The residents have really enjoyed taking part in buddyboost. It has helped them to come together socially and they have enjoyed helping one another with different activities.  I can see the positive effect for residents on both their physical and mental wellbeing and, as an additional bonus, it is helping them create lasting routines with the care staff that give them purpose and help them achieve their goals.”

And because buddyboost is only about completing your 26 minutes (rather than clocking-up distance or steps), it meant that the care homes were able to compete on an equal footing with the gym bunnies and young guns at West Berks Council. In fact, the residents of Notrees Care Home took the silver medal as the 2nd most consistent team out of 14 by recording some physical activity on nearly every day of the month.


The great outdoors

Whenever we run buddyboost workplace challenges, we often hear people say how good it has been at getting them away from their desk, or helping them clear their head after a hard day at work. So, it didn’t surprise us to see the same sort of boost in the care homes.

Louise Campbell, Manager of Birchwood Care Home told us, “It has been lovely to see the residents participating in an exercise activity each day for buddyboost. It has proven to be a great opportunity for them to get moving, socialise with staff and residents in active games, and also a good excuse to go out for some fresh air”.

From the noughties to the nineties

The second West Berks Council challenge was a great all-round success, but it’s clear that the inclusion of the care homes enriched the experience for everyone. The buddyboost community feed had a wonderful inter-generational feel with everything from baby-buggies on country walks to a ninety year-old raising his walking frame in celebration. Eat your heart out, Rocky Balboa.

We’re already looking forward to repeating this with other care homes across the country, so if you’d like to find out more about how buddyboost can help your organisation get healthier and happier drop us a message below or read more here.

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