A blog of thanks from Eddie

This is my blog of thanks! What a tough 21 weeks we have all had, but it does look as though lockdown is finally lifting and we are rapidly exploring the number of Silverfit sessions we can safely resume. On a personal level, I guess I have been a fortunate 77yr old, able to get out and jog / walk most days and with my lifesaver, the indoor biking with Zwift. I was not surprised that the stores of biking systems ran out almost as quickly as toilet paper in March.

But I am so proud of how quickly Silverfit moved post lockdown in March to recognise the needs of our socially isolated members and the dire need for all of us ‘oldies’ to stay physically active. Thanks to Natalie, Alicia, Susanne, Dana, Kim and Bradley we rapidly set up:

  • Our @home videos. It has been great to see the enthusiasm with which so many of you have viewed so many of them. My gratitude to Natalie for organising and editing 106 videos to date. It has been so great too that we have been able to feature so many of our own instructors. Thanks to them, and a very special thanks to Brigit, our Pilates instructor, who filmed despite her recent surgery. Its great news she is recovering well!


  • WhatsApp groups – I can see the value of those in many venues and Cheerleading. They are such fun and a great way of staying in touch with friends you haven’t seen for so long. Susanne on [email protected] or Kim on 07450611155 can put you in touch if you need local details


  • I was very conscious of those of you who only had landlines, so thanks to Bradley, Natalie and some of our instructors who recorded session for us, we now have instructed workout sessions over the telephone! Try dialing in to this landline number 0207 186 1001, at the cost of your normal call rate, and hear the choice of three 15-20 minute training sessions (Fitness, Yoga and Pilates currently). If you know of anyone who only has a landline and no digital phone or computer access, please do ring them and tell give them this number.


  • Silverfit10challenge for August and September. It is not too late to sign up, in pairs of different generations to walk jog or even run units of 10. See details on our website or this link…   Profound thanks to our team chaired by David (our Ashburton Silverfit Ambassador)  for organising this challenge. It is fun to report progress towards our shared inter-generational goal and maybe even raise some funds for Silverfit and the Childrens’ Ward of St Peter’s Hospital!


  • Bradley has been working hard setting up with Henson IT Solutions a digitalised system to (confidentially of course) to integrate our data and measure, for instance, what a high number of members kept coming to Silverfit sessions, we think due to our social sandwich model – socialise, exercise and socialise again our members keep coming regularly.


As lockdown eased a bit, we were delighted to be able to re-start Nordic Walking, and T’ai Chi – not as easy to set up as normal ‘turn up on the day’ sessions, with restrictions to only 6 people allowed to meet up!  But thanks to an online booking system and Project Manager Alicia and our fantastic instructors Francesca, Ailien, Diane, Julie, Una, Joanna and Kay, and so many of our NW leaders (4 more being trained this week!) our numbers each week have steadily increased, 128 last week. Thanks also to a grant from Southwark Council, we have been able to open up in two new Parks, Peckham Rye and Dulwich Park. There will also be more in Croydon to follow, as part of our ongoing partnership with GLL/Better.

As I write, it looks as though Govt guidelines are relaxing for outdoor activities, and possible attendee numbers, though indoors may not re-start until the end of September, but watch this space, and our website, and WhatsApp groups. That links to the biggest thanks, to all our Silverfit volunteers, from Silverfit Ambassadors, to our Trustees, and to Brenda, our incredible book-keeper, not to mention the videos she puts onto WhatsApp.

I am sure you will all have heard on the news of the growing, worldwide ‘ageing crisis’, as numbers of older people will soon exceed those younger. Fortunately, some experts are recognising positives, e.g. how much us oldies can still contribute to the economy, WHILST  STAYING AS PHYSICALLY ACTIVE AS POSSIBLE. After hearing him on radio, then reading Carl Honore’s book BOLDER ‘making the most of our longer lives’,  I am so excited to be meeting him (virtually of course) next week. He wrote  ‘Love what you’re doing with Silverfit – right up my alley ….’

You will all have read of the financial crisis facing so many charities. Fortunately, Silverfit is surviving, thanks to Sport England, USTSC, and a recent Lottery, Covid related grant and the generosity of some benefactors via Just Giving and the Aviva Community Fund. We are looking, and many of you will say,  not before time, at standardising our annual membership system, so we should have news of that in September.

Natalie Rickman

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