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Dementia activity sessions launch at Leisure World Colchester

Date published: 20 February 2018

This spring, Leisure World Colchester is offering a FREE programme of fun, relaxed activities and sports especially for people living with dementia and their carers.

Starting from 21 February, new Dementia Friendly sessions will run every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon during school term-time. Participants will be able to enjoy activities they love or try something new, all in a safe and supportive environment.

The sessions are funded by the iBCF (Improved & Better Care Fund) North East Essex Transformation Fund and following Leisure World's successful bid, £20,000 was invested for the centre to provide activities aimed at customers with, or at risk of developing, dementia.

Dementia affects a huge number of people across the UK. Over 1,250 were diagnosed in Colchester last year. Physical exercise can help in a number of ways, from boosting mood and confidence to improving strength, balance and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Some studies have shown that exercise may also improve memory and slow the progress of dementia.

Wednesdays start off with badminton and table tennis sessions from 1-3pm, with swimming also available, under the guidance of qualified teachers in a dedicated lane, in the Fitness Pool from 2.30-3.30pm. 

On Thursdays, badminton and table tennis sessions from 1-3pm, then find a partner and swing into step with an afternoon of line dancing from 2-3pm -where refreshments will be provided and, for a little variety, some sessions will host a tea dance.

Cllr Annie Feltham, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, said: "As a Dementia Friendly organisation, we believe that a huge difference can be made to the lives of all those living with dementia if people around them understand the difficulties that they face. These new inclusive sessions at Leisure World enable people to enjoy activities, as part of our normal public sessions, in surroundings where they feel supported and safe."

Leisure World Colchester is working in partnership with a number of organisations including Community360, an independent registered charity, who will provide transport for participants to access these activities. Please call 01206 216600 to obtain further information and to book your transport.

Tracy Rudling, Chief Executive Officer of Community360, said: "We chair the Dementia Action Alliance, so for us this is an essential forward thinking project where everyone has the right and choice to be included in activities. It is really important to give people the ability to take part in the community and for us to ensure that the environment is right for them to do that. It is essential that we work in partnership to do this. No one agency has the answer or can do this alone, so we are really excited to be part of this initiative".

Sue Turner, Project Manager, Essex County Council, said: "The North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and Essex County Council, as the funding partners, are pleased to be able to support this community initiative to introduce dementia friendly activities and look forward to the activities continuing as part of the standard Leisure World activity programme long after the initial funding has gone."

All Dementia Friendly sessions are FREE until 19 July. After this date, activities will be chargeable. There is no need to book, just turn up and take part. For more information, please call 01206 282000 or visit

These Dementia sessions are just one of the activities Leisure World provides to ensure there are opportunities suitable for and attractive to everyone to get active. These range from ladies-only swimming sessions and specific exercise programmes for people with long-term health conditions, to Tea Dance's which engage older men and women in sport.


For more information please contact or call 07815 088150