Following a highly successful period of fundraising, including grants totalling £10,000 from OCF, Aesop has announced a significant expansion of its pioneering Dance to Health programme.
Dance to Health responds to the issue of older people’s falls. Falls are traumatic for older people and currently cost the NHS £2.3 billion per year. Existing falls prevention programmes have been described as “dull as ditchwater” by the Royal College of Physicians Clinical Falls Lead, and there is low take-up and adherence to these more traditional methods.
Dance to Health aims to be an effective and cost-effective falls prevention programme, offering older people the choice of a fun, dance-based alternative to existing exercise programmes. These programmes have since been proven to reduce falls by up to 55%. All Dance to Health ‘Dance Artists’ (session leaders) are trained in the evidence-based programmes.
This expansion builds on a successful pilot in 2015 and 2016 and an evaluation report published in February 2017. OCF funded the pilots in Abingdon and Banbury, providing two grants of £5,000 each after a referral from contacts at Age UK Oxfordshire. The expanded programme will run for two years involving over 1,000 older people and 1,000 volunteers. Sixty-three programmes will be delivered across England and Wales in collaboration with health/social care and dance partners.
Speaking of OCF’s early support of the programme, Tim Joss, Founder and Chief Executive of Aesop, said: “Oxfordshire Community Foundation was one of our very precious early adopters – a funding partner who backed the Dance to Health concept before it had begun to be realised. Not only that: OCF is generously continuing to support us as Dance to Health grows. We remain immensely grateful. I’m pleased that OCF’s early investment has led to us putting together and raising funds for this significant expansion.”