St Paul ’s project cooks up (old) new friends!

Published on 17th January 2011

A walk in the country, a game of bowls, a go on the Wii and a healthy cooking demonstration were just some of the activities older tenants from St Paul’s enjoyed as part of a community project run by by Cheltenham Borough Homes

The St Paul's Older People project which ran throughout last year was set up by CBH to help combat loneliness and increase the health and wellbeing of older CBH tenants living in the St Paul 's area.

Launched in October 2009, the focus of the project was to find solutions to improve the diet and activity of older people. The project kicked off by consulting with the tenants to identify the factors that lead to older people not being as physically or mentally active as they would like to be.

Following the information received from the tenants, a year long timetable of activities was developed to improve diet, increase exercise and the use of local sports facilities, build links with the wider community and provide opportunities for socialising.

Caroline Walker, head of community services at CBH said:

"We've had some really positive outcomes from this project with all the tenants involved telling us that they have benefited from taking part. Many of them got the chance to access activities that they would never have had the opportunity to try before and we have been successful in forging links with the wider community which we intend to build on. The aim of the project was to improve the health and wellbeing of our older tenants and to combat the issues of loneliness and isolation that many people face as they get older; I think that this project has achieved this."

As people get older their diet can become poorer, as cooking for one is no fun and can be costly, so several healthy cooking demonstrations were given to show how to prepare a nutritious and cheap meal using food from the store cupboard. The results were a resounding success and all the participants took home a copy of the recipes.

To help increase health and fitness, the older people took part in a range of activities which took place at Community House and leisure@ including: armchair fitness, lessons in the art of bowls and croquet and walks in the countryside and in Pitville Park . The older people also mastered the bowling game on the Wii Fit which then inspired them to visit the local ten pin bowling alley and play the game for real.

The project invited guest speakers along and the older people heard from an expert at Severn Wye Energy Agency who gave them some useful tips on how to cut fuels bills this winter and keep warm. 

Tenants also got the chance to flex their creative side with arts and crafts sessions and a special festive Christmas card making event.

Events were held throughout the year and St Paul 's tenants enjoyed a 'Great Sunday Lunch', many hearty meals and finally a well attended tea dance.

Feedback from the participants was very positive with comments including:

"All very enjoyable, tried some new activities."

"This had been an excellent project. Well done, thank you.''

Notes for editors

Cheltenham Borough Homes:

  • CBH is one of the top rated ALMOs in the country, assessed as providing 'excellent services with excellent prospects for the future' by the Audit Commission.  
  • Currently CBH manage and maintain around 5,000 tenant and leasehold properties with an overall satisfaction level of 85%, placing them in the top ten ALMOs nationally. 
  • The organisation's approach to community development and participation; governance and equality and diversity has been recognised as good practice nationally. A new ten year management agreement, which will run until 31st March 2020 , was recently finalised.
  • CBH continue to develop excellent services by working closely with customers.  It will include building new homes and continuing to regenerate communities whilst tackling issues of worklessness and addressing social enterprise.

For further information visit: www.cheltborohomes.org

Press contact: Catherine Best e: catherine.best@cheltborohomes.org t: 01242 775317