Staff in care homes across the north-east are being provided with the skills to lead their own strength and balance sessions thanks to a popular partnership designed to improve quality of life through walking.

Sport Aberdeen and ‘Paths for All’, a charity that aims to significantly increase the number of people who choose to walk in Scotland, are set to run a training programme for Bon Accord Care staff working at sheltered housing complexes in Aberdeen.

The First Steps programme, which successfully delivered training to 13 Bon Accord Care staff from nine sheltered housing complexes in November last year, will allow them to promote and provide regular physical activity sessions for their residents.

The First Steps programme, which is run by Sport Aberdeen’s Healthy Communities team with funding from Paths for All, aims to increase functional fitness and daily walking amongst people not currently able to take part in walking groups.

Jill Franks, Sport Aberdeen Director of Performance and Planning, said:

“Sport Aberdeen and Paths for All share a mutual goal of getting more people active, regardless of age, ability or situation and we are delighted to be working together to help deliver these training sessions with Bon Accord Care.

 “The training sessions have already proved to be a powerful tool in enabling those living in sheltered housing to improve their mobility and access a better quality of life through regular activity and we are looking forward to helping bring this training to even more staff in the coming sessions.

“By encouraging regular strength and balance exercises and going for short, low level walks, these sessions enable people to be more active and able to undertake the tasks of daily living such as walking in and around the home and to the shops”

Speaking of the upcoming training course, Louise McCann, Bon Accord Care Reablement Facilitator and Falls Quality Improvement Lead said:

“We have arranged the training for the staff team at Quarryhill Court as part of the Bon Accord Care Falls Management Quality Improvement Group. The group made up of support staff, supervisors and Occupational Therapists were keen to focus on engaging tenants in early intervention and promoting self-management.

“It is our intention that these sessions will be provided across all buildings supported by Bon Accord Care staff”