Service users at Newton Lodge in Wakefield are quite literally taking steps towards recovery by participating in fun, energetic and exciting Zumba sessions.
The popular dance workout sessions are run by experienced and qualified Zumba instructor Matthew Brammer, who also teaches at local sports centres in the region. Creative Minds funds Matthew’s teaching expertise for two 45 minute sessions a week.
They take place in the newly-refurbished sports hall in Newton Lodge and are open to men and women across all of the unit’s seven wards. There is also a dedicated session held on Johnson ward, a female–only ward, for women who would like to take part in single-sex classes.
Benefits of taking part in the classes – which are well attended by both Newton Lodge service users and staff alike – include improving mental health and wellbeing, developing confidence, and promoting social inclusion and independence.
Jo Barber, ward manager at Newton Lodge, said: “The service users who attend the classes love that the workouts are reliable and consistent – they always have something to look forward to on a Monday or a Thursday. The classes have become embedded in their week. They especially like that Matthew is a qualified instructor – they say that it feels like a genuine activity that they could do at a sports centre in the community.
Matthew has built up a really good relationship with the service users and some of them have even helped him to present the class. They love learning the dance routines and having a great laugh with our staff and each other. We always want to encourage service users to be physically active and move more, and this is a really fun way to do it.”