Fit as a fiddle was a nationwide programme that championed physical activity, healthy eating and mental wellbeing for older people
We received £15.1 million to deliver Fit as a Fiddle from the Big Lottery Fund as part of their Wellbeing programme in 2007.
Projects were delivered regionally by over 400 community organisations, including 100 local Age UKs. Over 350,000 older people and 4,500 volunteers participated in activities throughout the programme.
The National Programme delivered two England wide initiatives: it developed new models for engaging older people in volunteer based activity programmes and a range of activity based resources for consumers and practitioners.
Nine regional programmes co-ordinated a portfolio of innovative projects that enhanced older people’s health and wellbeing, from ‘Dancing for fun’ and aqua circuits to men’s cooking groups and thai chi.
In developing the programme, research was used which identified that older people who were not physically active were less able to do everyday tasks.
The research also showed that older people themselves felt that making a contribution to society, such as volunteering, was good for their mental wellbeing.
Whole programme, national and regional evaluations with key learning outcomes and recommendations have been produced throughout the 5-year programme. These aim to share key learning and highlight the impacts on older people.
An overall programme evaluation, written by Ecorys and the Centre for Social Gerontology at Keele University, is now available. The evaluation presents 5-year findings on programme themes including: volunteering, equality and diversity, partnerships and sustainability.
The positive mental wellbeing outcomes from the programme are clearly evident in the evaluation survey and qualitative data.
Life and Soul - Sheltered Housing project
Written by NAPA, the report presents the project's key findings and lessons learnt and informs and advises future projects in the Sheltered Housing sector.
Read about the successes and learning from engaging with care homes across the country.
Read how the training package for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and faith communities, enabling opportunities for physical activity and wellbeing, was developed.
Read about this training and volunteer support scheme which was set up to encourage lifestyle and health improvements.
Read how Age UK partnered with Community Network to provide peer supported telephone groups. The report highlights the impacts and development of the programme.
Read about the findings of the project, which aimed to bring improved wellbeing to older people through advice on healthy eating and appropriate exercise.
Read about the key findings from this project which worked with 47 different organisations and delivered 119 projects to 17,492 older people.
Find out about the impacts of these tailor-made projects that delivered to over 13,000 older people in urban and rural communities throughout the region.
Read how the North East enabled 6,646 older people to participate in fit as a fiddle over a sustained period of time and about the impacts and outcomes.
An example report from the Eastern region, one of eight projects delivered in the region. Find out about the improved health and wellbeing of people living in areas of deprivation.
Read how the project adopted a community development approach, working with small community groups and in day centres and sheltered housing.
Read about the impacts from classes and activities that have been held in community venues and residential care settings.
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For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65 (8am-7pm, 365 days a year).