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Fit as a Fiddle

Fit as a fiddle was a nationwide programme that championed physical activity, healthy eating and mental wellbeing for older people


What was Fit as a Fiddle?

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.


Experiences of Fit as a Fiddle


Programme evaluation

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.

Fit as a fiddle extension programmes

  • Fit for the future

    Fit for the future worked to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of older people through the provision of integrated services and activities.
  • Cascade Volunteer Training Programme

    This project aimed to disseminate volunteering training packages to both local Age UKs and other organisations who work with older people.
  • Inspire and Include

    Inspire and Include is a project designed to encourage older disabled people to participate in sport
  • Dementia Friendly Programme

    This programme supported and enabled local Age UKs to assess how dementia friendly their wellbeing services were.

Further information

If you have any queries or for further information please contact fitasafiddle@ageuk.org.uk.

For more information:
Call Age UK on 0800 169 8787

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