Charity Community Local News

New online health & wellness offering from local charity

Andover based charity Valley Leisure is taking its mission to help people move more and feel better to new levels with a new online health and wellness offering.

After two and half years in the making, I Can Connect is ready to be put to the test of a live trial and the charity is looking for local people to try the new service completely free of charge.

I Can Connect has been designed to help adults overcome the health risks of sedentary behaviour and a lack of social connection by providing an online movement and connection service which aims to improve quality of life.

Off the back of the lockdowns imposed by the Government’s management of Covid-19, there has been subsequent apprehension about re-engaging with face-to-face community based physical activity amongst older adults populations. I Can Connect has been created in response to the increased negative impact on physical, mental and social health and wellbeing that older adults have experienced since the pandemic.

Ideal for men and women of all abilities looking to get more active from the comfort and safety of their own homes; I Can Connect provides an alternative online approach to health and wellbeing and will empower users to move more.

The platform features an online library of tailored exercise videos to help improve fitness, strength, balance and flexibility advocating the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for physical activity for older adults.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Witty has said There is no point in life where doing more exercise does not improve health in multiple ways.” The national physical activity guidelines advocate the need for adults to spend less time sitting, complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week

and complete strength and balance exercise at least twice per week.

A unique aspect of the platform, over and above other online health and fitness providers, is in-person coaching. The charity has recently recruited two Move More Coaches who will host one-to-one online meetings with customers to help them achieve their lifestyle goals. The Coaches will also support planned online exercise sessions for small groups of customers which the charity anticipates will help customers feel more connected.

Valley Leisure’s Chief Executive Mr Chris Attrill said “We’ve been working up to this for the past two and half years following the temporary closure of our centres during Covid. Our customers have taught us a lot, highlighting the importance of keeping in touch and connected with them and their value of the ‘I Can’ team members in helping them to remain active. We’re delighted to be able to bring I Can Connect to life online empowering more people to move more.”

Additionally users of the platform will be guided through a number of everyday fitness checks to measure leg strength, upper and lower body flexibility and balance and will be able to self-assess and track their progress over time.

Chris added “We’re at a stage where we would love for local people to try this new online offering. Perhaps you have been thinking about being active for a while but don’t know where to start; or you might not have the finances right now so need low cost / no cost activity. We’d love for you to try our new online offering and tell us what you think.”

Valley Leisure are offering local adults aged 18+ the opportunity to try their new online health and wellness service for free for 16-weeks. In return Valley Leisure would like to gain valuable feedback from users of the service to help develop and progress the online offer.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, express your interest now to take part in the free trial visit or scan the QR code on your device and complete the application form.