Sport For Confidence has partnered with the NHS North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) to extend the support offered to individuals who are at a higher risk of falling and develop a strength and balance pathway. This is part of the Prevention and Enablement Model (PEM) being delivered in Essex with Essex County Council. 
“Traditionally, individuals are referred to a physiotherapist in the falls prevention team, they will complete a 12 week course of postural stability exercises and then be expected to continue these at home. The transition group aims to encourage the participants to continue the ongoing exercises introduced during the 12 weeks previous, and to make these relevant to individuals and become part of their daily occupations and routine” says Megan Potts, Occupational therapist at Sport for Confidence. 
“Now, thanks to our new partnership with NELFT participants completing their initial physiotherapy intervention will be supported in to a further 6 weeks of physical activity via our inclusive Sport For Confidence sessions, held at Basildon Sporting Village.” 
The group aims to support people to gain confidence in accessing regular physical activity opportunities and has been designed to help bridge the gap between therapy services and leisure centres to ensure sustainable participation in strength and balance training and exercises which promote functional ability and independence. Attendees to sessions will be identified by NELFT and will have previous accessed their falls prevention service but may lack the confidence required to join additional support within the community. 
The six sessions are made up of a variety of sports and activities that available via Sport for Confidence sessions but also include guest instructors of other sport and physical activities available at the leisure centre. Sessions have included boccia, curling, love to move, table tennis, cycling and a gym taster session. Within these sessions team from NELFT recaps the exercises from the PSI (postural stability instructor) programme to refresh the participants memory. 
At the end of the six weeks, every participant is offered a one-to-one assessment with one of the Sport for Confidence Occupational Therapists to assess needs, abilities and individual meaningful activity preferences moving on from the transition group. 
Megan concludes: “The hope is that, once people start to enjoy our sessions they want to continue to take part, not because they need to for recovery purposes but because they choose to, recognising the many benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle. Regular exercise helps to maintain strength and balance, both important factors in falls prevention. 
The programme launched in November 2021 and is now on it’s second cohort of participants. 
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