Exercise classes run by Age UK Oxfordshire are gathering pace across the county. The charity is presently providing 44 classes a week for the elderly, with activities ranging from seated exercise to Tai Chi.

The classes are now attracting almost 500 people a week, with volunteers needed to help the scheme keep up with demand.

The Oxford Times and the charity have been running the Give An Hour campaign over the last three months, with the aim of getting Oxfordshire residents to give 10,000 hours of time to help the elderly.

The charity says the exercise classes are viewed as an important project, bringing huge benefits from improving mobility and flexibility to encouraging elderly people to meet up weekly.

Dave Symcox, the community development manager at Age UK Oxfordshire, said: “I am so proud of the classes we run. They are fun, good for you and allow people to meet up and socialise.

“In all honesty, due to the rural nature of our county, without our support these classes wouldn’t even exist in certain communities, which is why it is so vital we ensure they continue in the future.”

A range of information on topics useful to older people, from housing to benefit advice is also made available at the classes.

Anyone seeking more information, or wishing to attend a class, should contact Brenda Longmuir, exercise co-ordinator, on 07827 235 428.

Readers who may not be up to taking classes are this week being invited to exercise themselves to boost the Give An Hour campaign, by joining the Walk for Our Future event.

On Sunday, September 18, Age UK Oxfordshire will be hosting a sponsored walk on the Earth Trust land (previously Northmoor Trust) at Wittenham Clumps.

For more information or to request an entry form, call us on 01235 849400 or email fundraising @ageukoxfordshire.org.uk So far 3,500 hours have been volunteered since The Oxford Times launched the Give An Hour campaign in support of older people.

Paul Cann, chief executive for Age UK Oxfordshire, said: “We are more than a third of the way to our end-of-year target.

“People have stepped up in myriad ways.”

How you can help Anyone interested in joining our campaign by giving an hour should contact 01235 849407 or send an email to: giveanhour @ageukoxfordshire.org.uk Readers may also visit the website ageukoxfordshire.org.uk

There are many ways that you can support our Give An Hour campaign. The choice of what you could do with your hour of voluntary work is wide.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Help at a community club and make a real difference to an older person’s day
  • Share some of your computer skills with an older person by tutoring IT lessons
  • Volunteer for a morning or afternoon in one of Age UK Oxfordshire shops
  • Give an hour to an information and advice helpline by making a donation through ageukoxfordshire.org.uk
  • Leaflet for an Age UK Oxfordshire event in your local area or on one of the open days
  • Volunteer for an hour to help at the charity’s café in Banbury
  • Spend a morning or afternoon on reception at one of the charity’s county offices
  • Join one of the fundraising events, such as a tea tent
  • Work on the one-link service by making informal, sociable calls to lonely and isolated older people
  • Become a Local Link for Age UK Oxfordshire, keeping elderly people up to date with information and services available to them
  • Join the Health and Social Care Panel, which meets monthly
  • Become a befriender and support someone with a life-threatening illness.