Our Active Ageing Project in the St James Ward of Westminster has been a huge success. The scheme – partly funded by Westminster City Council – enabled Jubilee Hall Trust to offer five free dance classes for the over fifties every week in community venues in the Borough. The project saw the delivery of 126 dance sessions between November 2010 and May 2011 with 873 attendances. The generally beneficial effect on health – both physical and mental – and the consequent improvement in quality of life and socialisation is evidenced by statements in the end-of-project survey such as: ‘My body is more supple and I have more energy. Also emotionally I am feeling happier and more positive,’ and ‘I feel more alive!’ 100% of attendees said that they were now more active than before taking up the classes and said that they had noticed improvements to their general health or fitness.
Although the funding has now finished, Jubilee Hall Trust and The Abbey Centre have agreed a partnership to continue to offer two free classes per week for a trial period, funded from their own resources and by user donations.