A LOVE to Move exercise session for those living with dementia was so successful that organisers have decided to make it a monthly event.

Dozens of care home residents, community members, healthcare professionals and churchgoers attended the first free session at Staincross Methodist Church.

A British Gymnastics Foundation programme, Love to Move is run locally by the Barnsley Primary Care Network, and helps improve the lives of those living with dementia through social interaction, memory stimulation and developing coordination, balance, core strength, and flexibility.

Residents at Deangate Care Home have been taking part in Love to Move sessions since the start of 2023.

Ann Organ, 88, who lives near the church, said: “It was the first dementia session I have been to, as there are no local sessions to me. I can’t wait for the next one.”

Ann’s daughter, Julie Rowland, added: “We saw the article about the Love to Move session in the local newspaper. I showed it to mum and asked her if she wanted to go and she said yes. We have really enjoyed it. It was great fun.”

The first of these free sessions was such a success, that the care network are now planning to run them on the last Wednesday of every month going forward, continuing at Staincross Methodist Church between 2pm to 4pm.

Rachael Addy, activities co-ordinator at Deangate Care Home, said: “The session was amazing. A huge success.

“I’m happy to say that I will be training as a Love to Move deliverer, which should enable us to do more sessions in the community and around our sister homes, showing them the benefits for their residents and the outside community.

“I’d like to add a massive thank you to Reverend Clair Rawlinson, who came down to show support and take part, and the Methodist church for letting us use their hall.”