Ten from Len: Strictly legend Len Goodman wows Age UK with his fancy footwork
By: Age UK
Published on 06 July 2018 10:01 AM
Age UK is thrilled to announce that Len Goodman, professional dancer and coach known best for his role as head judge on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, has become its latest celebrity ambassador.
TV’s famous judge, aged 74, has joined the Charity to support its work in helping older people get the most out of later life. The man with the moves recently visited Age UK Lewisham & Southwark’s dance class where he took to the floor with the local members.
Speaking about his decision to become an Age UK ambassador, Len said: “The work Age UK does is so important to so many older people and I am honoured to be a part of that.
Watch Len present Age UK's BBC Lifeline appeal
Tune in to BBC One at 1.50pm on Sunday 21 April to see Len presenting our appeal on the theme of friendship.
"I had a great time chatting with the dance class and enjoyed getting to see how much of an impact dancing can have. There are so many Age UK classes and clubs out there which people can join to help them get out and about and keep active. Some of the stories I heard on my visit were incredibly moving and it's vital that this kind of work continues."
Age UK encourages older people to keep active and to take up physical activities such as dance to improve their health. Age UK's Wellbeing in Later Life Index shows that a massive one in ten of the over 65s in the UK are regularly dancing and attending dance classes. In addition to the physical benefits, the Charity's Wellbeing Index found that participating in 'creative activities' of all kinds, including dancing, was the single most effective thing any older person could do to improve their sense of wellbeing.
These types of classes also help to tackle the serious issue of loneliness, especially amongst older people. Age UK's research found that 1.2 million older people in England are chronically lonely . Through a range of national and local services including activities such as dance, coffee mornings, IT classes, and more tailored schemes including face-to-face and telephone befriending, Age UK and its network of local partners are working hard to combat the issue.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: "We are honoured to have Len on board as an Age UK ambassador. The support he will bring to the Charity will be invaluable.
"It's never too late to be more active, and seeing Len at a local Age UK dance class will hopefully inspire lots of people to try and keep active as they get older - he has a huge following and we can't wait to see his many fans get behind the work he does for Age UK."
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. Age UK Lewisham & Southwark's dance class is just one of many services offered to older people up and down the country. The Age UK network provides information, advice, practical services and campaigns on the issues that matter to people in later life.
Fact box: There's something we can all do to help:
- Find out how Age UK can help and what activities are available locally – it might even be an activity you'd enjoy volunteering at or supporting.
- Start a conversation - it might seem obvious but being friendly and prepared to stop for a chat can give an older person a vital boost, whether this happens on the bus, in a shop or elsewhere.
- Accompany your neighbour to a local event - local events in the community can be a great opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone in your street to see if they'd like to go too. If this goes well you could arrange a regular time to pop in and have a cuppa with them.
Find out how you can support Age UK at www.ageuk.org.uk or call 0800 169 8787.