Today I am talking to Bridget Glynn, one of the Day Service Managers at Holt Park Active, to find out why she thinks Holt Park Active is going from strength to strength.
What is Holt Park Active?
Holt Park Active is a new service which is run in partnership with Adult Social Care and Sports and Leisure. As we are part of Adult Social Care, we deliver day services to three service groups; older people, people with learning disabilities and those with physical impairments.
Holt Park Active is set inside a sports centre which is great for us as it means we have easy access to all the sports facilities. There is also a café so we can provide drinks and meals, and a wonderful garden space. The Adult Social Care floor has lots of individual rooms so we can hold different activities at the same time – these are all shared by the three service groups.
What difference do you believe Holt Park Active makes?
I believe the wide choice of opportunities available at Holt Park have increased people’s motivation. It has improved their wellbeing both physically and mentally and helped them to develop new skills and knowledge, as well as helping to create new friendships too.
Feedback and reviews from customers have shown an increase in interest and enthusiasm for quite a few of our new activities, which range from arts and craft classes, creative writing, cooking skills and baking groups.
Some people who have used the service have had new experiences in using their IT skills; they have learnt how to set up a Facebook account and can now use this to stay in touch with family and friends – they can even upload photos!
We work with the local library who also deliver a range of courses, including the Friday ‘knit and natter group’ which has been very popular. We have excellent links with Sports and Leisure and people regularly use the facilities for swimming sessions, gym exercise classes and the hydrotherapy pool.
What do you think would happen if Holt Park Active didn’t exist?
For a lot of people this is the only social contact they have. Without Holt Park Active they wouldn’t see anyone on a regular basis and would become lonely and isolated – this could also impact on their health.
What’s the best part of your job?
When I hear the lovely stories about the new experiences people are having and how they are sharing these experiences with their families and friends.
We received a lovely letter from a family that said since their relative had started attending Holt Park Active, it was as if a light had been switched on inside them and had stayed on – all of the team were very proud of that.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
I think this is one that is shared across every service at the moment and that is money and finances. We are constantly trying to make sure we offer a wide range of activities and groups while staying within budget – we are always on the lookout for activities and groups that are free!
How can people get involved?
I am currently trying to develop a volunteer scheme which will look at new ways of developing the services we offer at Holt Park, so feel free to contact me if anyone is interested in taking part. We’re on the lookout for new ideas, especially if anyone wants to come along and deliver a group.
To find out more or to give your views, please email Bridget.Glynn@leeds.gov.uk.
Thank you Bridget for taking the time to talk to me and for letting us know why Holt Park Active is so essential for people in Leeds. Next time, I will be speaking to Doreen – a Holt Park Active member to see how the centre has helped her.