The Canvey Island Group at the LGM farewell party held in Hadleigh Country Park

Coming to the end of something enjoyable, for most of us, can leave a feeling of deflation, wistfulness or maybe, even of sadness. Such may be said to be true of the ending of happy experiences such as holidays, or celebrations of one kind or another, or even of periods and stages of life, such as schooldays, parenthood or employment at a particular organisation. On the 1st of August 2017, ukactive’s Let’s Get Moving head office kindly threw a party at Hadleigh Country Park for members of the Canvey Island Let’s Get Moving Group to mark the end of the Let’s Get Moving scheme meetings in Castle point. Amidst the conviviality of this memorable occasion with its spread of healthy breakfast foods, good humoured games and activities, interviews and conversations, there was, as the group dispersed to go home and enter a post Let’s Get Moving future, a wistful sense of loss and sadness.

However, the friendships and links made between the Canvey Let’s Get Moving Members were strong and most continued to meet at Short Mat Bowls  at Canvey Football Club and Let’s Get Into Golf at Southend Garon’s Park. Group members were also still in touch with each other by Whats App and email link and in September of 2017 the group met up again at a local outdoor Gym for exercise and a chat. Similarly, in December the group gathered once again and walked the length of Southend Pier with a welcome stopover in the cafe at the Pier head for refreshments.

The group after a blustery walk on Southend Pier

During this period representations were made to Essex County Council’s (ECC) Active Essex team and to the Health and Welfare Department of Castle Point Council with a view to the group continuing as part of the ECC goal of encouraging 1 million Essex residents into Active Lifestyles over a four-year period. This application was successful and the Canvey Island Let’s Get Moving Phoenix has now risen from the ashes of its final meeting to a continued life as Let’s Keep Moving. It still meets on Monday Mornings at the Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island, from 9.30 to 10.30am and it continues to offer a friendly, good humoured, non-threatening, health promoting forum where attendees can find exercise, advice, motivation, friendship and guidance in how to make activity a regular part of everyday life.

The group is specifically designed with the older person in mind and hopes to encourage new members to join in from the 50 plus age group from across Castle Point area. We have been heartened that Victoria, our Let’s Get Moving Exercise professional, has kindly agreed to continue leading the Lets Keep Moving Meetings to lead us in its blend of exercise, helpful tips about local activity opportunities and information about food labelling, food groups, and dietary advice.

We are also grateful to all at ukactive for running the original Let’s Get Moving Initiative. Through its auspices we, along with all participants across the project regions have, and still are benefiting from making activity a normal part of everyday life. For any reading this who would like to know more about the Canvey Island Lets Keep Moving group, please telephone Victoria on 07966 482929.