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Forres Area Community Trust to restart activity sessions for older people


By Garry McCartney

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Sharon Finlay is the drumming exercise instructor.
Sharon Finlay is the drumming exercise instructor.

A DEVELOPMENT group is to restart activity sessions for older people at Forres Town Hall.

Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) has secured funding from the Communities Recovery Fund, via the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), to address social isolation and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic.

FACT lead development officer, Debbie Herron, confirmed HIE is coordinating the fund for all eligible organisations who are implementing changes to reintroduce services and activities suspended or severely reduced because of Covid-19 and/or deliver new services identified as a priority by the community as a result of the crisis.

She said: “FACT currently offers virtual sessions of gentle seated exercises to music with Sharon Finlay from Active Minds Moray every Wednesday from 11am-12.30pm.

“Following on from the success of these sessions, we are delighted to offer more craft and exercise throughout April and May.

“Participants will see some familiar faces. Ms Finlay, Sharon Robertson from Varis Craft and arts and crafts teacher, Dawn Cawthra, will be taking the lead and running different sessions throughout the week.”

Activities will include knitting, crocheting, paper crafts and drumming exercise. Kits for each activity will be distributed to all those who sign up to take part, so there will be no need to buy materials.

Drumming equipment will be loaned to participants and collected when all of the sessions have been completed. Drumming will involve a gym ball balanced in a washing basket with drum sticks donated by Forres and District Pipe Band.

Ms Herron said: “Ms Finlay already has some routines to music for a fun way to get fit from your armchair.

“She will also be teaching how to make crochet bunting, which we hope to use to decorate the hall when we are able to open again, and to celebrate the success of its Community Asset Transfer from Moray Council which was a real community effort!”

Dawn Cawthra will be running knitting for beginners.
Dawn Cawthra will be running knitting for beginners.

Ms Cawthra will be teaching basic skills in knitting with the option to make a scarf, squares for a baby blanket or twiddle muffs for people living with dementia.

Ms Robertson will offer instruction in card making and paper craft with lots of ideas for beginners, including a memory book.

FACT’s Forres Online team are still helping people get active and digital, offering free IT coaching and help getting online to access the sessions.

Those who do not know how to use Zoom and would like to attend one of the sessions, should call 0753 6978396 or 01309 674388 or email janice@forresarea.org or euan@forresarea.org

Drumming exercise with Sharon Finlay: Block one – Mondays 11am-noon on April 5, 12, 19, 26; Block two – Mondays 11am-noon on May 3, 10, 17 and 24.

Paper crafts with Sharon Robertson: Block one – Tuesdays 11am-noon on April 6, 13, 20 and 27; Block two Tuesdays 11am-noon on May 4, 11, 18 and 25.

Knitting with Dawn Cawthra: Block one – Wednesdays 2pm-3pm on April 7, 14, 21 and 28; Block two – Wednesdays 2pm-3pm on May 5, 12, 19 and 26.

Crocheting with Sharon Finlay: Block one – Thursdays 11am-noon April 8, 15, 22, and 29; Block two – Thursdays 11am-noon May 6, 13, 20 and 27.

Spaces are limited for these sessions, and will run in four-week blocks with a maximum of 10 people, each block. If you would like to book a space on one of the sessions contact Kirsty, older person’s project coordinator or Lorretta Oliphant, older person’s project officer at FACT on 01343 674388 or email info@forresarea.org

Sharon Robertson is demonstrating paper craft.
Sharon Robertson is demonstrating paper craft.

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