Neck of the Woods

Those with long term health issues already experience barriers to remaining active. In addition to this group has been disadvantaged throughout the COVID pandemic; once external providers where not allowed in supported living environments this saw the withdrawal of activity.


Community Fitness Network Limited was awarded a grant through EMDUK and the Sport England Tackling Inequalities Project. This allowed the training of instructors in the CFN chair-based programme. The training programme ensures instructors learn how to deliver a safe and effective class to this population. Instructors are offered ongoing support with class content, giving them increased confidence with teaching and creating sustainability in sessions. The Focus of Neck of the Woods is using memory evoking music, which is especially poignant for those with conditions that effect the brain.

Community Fitness Network is a social enterprise which was formed in March 2018, with a mission to create and deliver initiatives, driven by community consultation to address and remove barriers to well-being.


One in 3 adults in England live with a long-term health condition and they are twice as likely to be amongst the least physically active. However evidence shows that regular physical activity can help prevent or manage many common conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It also helps keep symptoms under control, prevent additional conditions from developing, and reduce inequalities. (Public Health England January 2020). This inactivity was then escalated once Covid restrictions were put in place in March 2020.


Our research showed that there was a lack of training amongst instructors in how to deliver effective chair-based classes. Instructors were not confident in their knowledge or understanding how to plan and deliver a class.

The Project Aims were to


  • Reduce inactivity in adults with long term health conditions


  • Upskill 50 new instructors in an endorsed CPD chair based instructor certification

  • Reach 1020 individuals with long term health conditions

  • To create and provide on-demand content, to be used in Housing 21 facilities and made accessible to all their residents.

Group of happy elderly ladies in a seniors gym doing hand coordination exercises throwing

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