Mindfulness and Movement Project
The Uniting Church in Balhannah 2018
Older members of the Onkaparinga Valley community.
A regular programme of body strengthening exercise and mobility improvement integrated with mindfulness and meditation to support the soul and body together.
In the past an exercise programme was resourced at our premises by the Adelaide Hills Council to provide mobility support to older people in the district. The entry requirements were restrictive (seniors / disability card holders only) and funding shifts moved the programme to Woodside 8 kms away. Many of the previous participants are unable or unwilling to travel to another town but have missed the service. As a church we wondered if we could build on that programme and interest to provide a more comprehensive approach that would provide a deeper connection of body and spirit to aging members of our community. Older members of our congregation are very well networked within the town and would be able to encourage many community members to participate in a programme that would not just provide exercise and mobility but serve to strengthen our spirits. We would be able to make the entry requirements much less restrictive than previously available.
By joining together services for our bodies and spirits, participants will be better equipped to face the challenges of aging. A significant benefit of this project will be found in doing it together. This is not personal training. It is working together to support each other which will deepen and strengthen relationships. This project allows us to work with and develop our existing assets to leverage and deepen our community engagement within the Onkaparinga Valley. As such we will work in partnership with other churches, community groups and wellness services. There are opportunities to work with existing health services to provide them with entry points for education and promotion of other programmes.
We have a former Sunday school hall that was renovated about 15 years ago. It has a sprung wooden floor which, though currently in need of repair, would provide a great base for low impact exercise. It also holds many positive memories for older residents in our region. We would repair the floor, refresh and carpet it and install reverse cycle air conditioning to allow for year round use. Balhannah is very cold in winter and lacks warm spaces for community groups to gather.
We are talking with Frances Bartlett from the Murray Bridge UCA, (who currently runs similar programmes within her pastorate) to arrange for her to train 4-6 people within our community in running our own project.
We have identified several members in our congregation who have significant interest in the idea and are willing to provide some leadership and pastoral support. We have some members with substantive experience in aged care and mobility support that wish to support this project.
We anticipate 3 means of understanding the effectiveness of this project.
- Regular conversations between participants and the project team on the benefits they have received through the programme.
- Statistical gathering in each session. (no progressive personal data)
- Quarterly reporting from the project team to the church council.
We have the skills within our congregation to provide much of the labour to prepare our facilities for the project. We are requesting funding for material costs and some labour. In order to prepare the hall the congregation will develop new storage facilities on our property to allow the hall to be re-purposed.
We estimate that repairing the floor, carpeting and installing RC aircon will cost around $8000.00 Our labour component will contribute about $5000.00 worth of value to the project. A more detailed costing is attached.
Those interested in running the project are ready and able to provide their services at no cost. Ongoing overheads (refreshments, publications and promotion etc) could be covered by a minimal participation fee. (waived for those with low disposable income.)
Our risk assessment is currently in the hands of an experienced assessor and will be forwarded soon.
This project, in bringing together physical and spiritual support to ageing members within the Onkaparinga Valley, allows us to build on and develop existing strengths, develop and enhance community and broaden networks for participants and congregation.