Case Study

Thrive Together Birmingham – Tai Chi

Every Monday at St Peter’s Church in Tile Cross, Tai Chi sessions are run for the elderly.

At the back of the room a lady is following the teacher’s instructions as a dog lies by her feet.

Pat, from Chelmsley Wood, has been coming since February: “I found out about these sessions from my hairdresser. I knew the women who runs them and I’ve got to know some of the other faces since.

“I lost my mum in December, she was 94 with dementia. I had spent the last 7 years looking after her. I lost my social contact and confidence. I was in mourning and it was hard to start going out again, I thought I could face this because I’d done some Tai Chi in the past.”

 

Pat’s dog, Nelly, is blind and that can be a problem day to day: “I can’t go anywhere without Nell, but you can’t take your dog everywhere. They’re very accepting here and of course she does behave herself.

“She has confidence issues but she likes coming here, sometimes she’s more settled than others but she always goes to sleep during the relaxation session!”

A form of martial arts, Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that’s evolved over centuries helping to beat depression and anxiety, improve energy and stamina while reducing inflammation and the risk of falling.

The relaxed classes allow those of all abilities to take part and can be completed sat down making it accessible to all.

“Come and try it, give it a go! People really enjoy it. Nobody’s watching you, everybody just concentrates on themselves and it’s done me a lot of good!

“The sessions are great and you get to have a cup of tea and a chat as well, it’s helped me get back into life again.”

The sessions are run by Thrive Together Birmingham, and were supported through our Surviving Winter campaign which the Foundation ran with Human Appeal UK. Alongside the benefits of Tai Chi the sessions aim to tackle social isolation and loneliness in older people.

To find out more about Thrive Together Birmingham and their work in the community visit: http://www2.cuf.org.uk/thrive-together-birmingham/about-us