The region’s leading sports and leisure service provider is marking national Volunteers’ Week with a special thanks to all it volunteers.
Fife Sports and Leisure Trust is using the annual celebration of volunteers to pay special tribute to those who give up their time to support the organisation’s health and wellbeing programmes delivered in its leisure centres and community venues across the region.
Launched four years ago, the trust’s volunteer programme sees volunteers help qualified instructors lead a range of programmes for people living with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, cardiac incidents and cancer, to get more active and enjoy the associated health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity.
There are currently around 25 volunteers providing 40 hours a week of support to over 30 Active Options 2 and Move More Fife classes, two of the trusts health programmes.
Jacquie Stringer, health and physical activity manager for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “Our volunteers add a great deal to the experience of participants by providing encouragement and motivation, as well as supporting instructors if there are members of the class who need extra help during exercises.
“Active Options 2 is a programme designed around the amount of physical activity a person can do, rather than the long-term health condition they have – their health conditions are varied but all can experience the health and wellbeing benefits physical activity can deliver.
“We are very proud of the health programme, it continues to develop with more recent additions such as Move More Fife and Move More Fife Walking – programmes aimed at those living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis, and, Mind and Be Active, a programme designed to support people with dementia and mental health issues.
“We are very grateful to the volunteers, some of whom have benefited from our health programmes themselves, for their time and support – their contribution is invaluable.”
Volunteer Thomas Brown (69), from Dysart, who takes part in classes at a number of the trust’s facilities and community venues, said: “I thoroughly enjoy volunteering because it not only keeps me fit and active, but it’s very uplifting seeing the participants lifestyle improving by embracing the exercise programme that is delivered by the instructors.
“I know I was a bit apprehensive after my health scare in starting a fitness regime, so I try to talk about several topics with the participants to put them at ease and display how the exercises are fun and safe. I consider bringing the social aspect to the fore is very important part of healing.
“All on all, it’s very rewarding seeing participants progressing from a starter class to more rigorous exercise classes and improving their fitness”.