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Strong and Steady

Strong and Steady is a 12-week programme designed to encourage people to become more active and reduce the risk of trips and falls. Delivered by friendly, qualified instructors, the specialised programme aims to improve balance and strength, increasing confidence and improving ability in everyday tasks.

Where is Strong and Steady taking place?

Current sessions are being held at:

Harrogate: Every Friday 11am - 12pm

Fairfax Community Centre
Fairfax Avenue

As new sessions are added across North Yorkshire they will be listed here.

The Current Picture

Thirty percent of people aged over 65 and half of those over 80 are at risk of falling at least once a year. As well as injuries, people who fall can suffer a loss of confidence and fear of falling again, loss of mobility, an increase in dependency, hypothermia, pressure-related injuries and infection. More than 166,000 people in North Yorkshire reported doing less activity in 2015 than in the previous year, due to disability, injury or poor health. Nationally, physical inactivity is responsible for one in six deaths, which makes it as dangerous as smoking.

The Programme

Funded by North Yorkshire County Council's public health team and Stronger Communities programme, Strong and Steady will support older people in the county in accessing existing opportunities for physical activity and providing new tailored exercise and activity where needed. The main aim is to increase physical activity among people aged 65-plus to reduce falls, but through the use of trained instructors and partner organisations the classes are also expected to help to reduce loneliness and to improve mental wellbeing, as well as aiming to:

  • Reduce injury due to falls
  • Improve balance & strength
  • Increase confidence & independence
  • Improve ability in everyday tasks
  • Improve stamina & energy levels
  • Improve cognition

Who can attend?

People can be referred to classes by health professionals, including their GPs, physios, specialists or from other existing clinics or classes. People can also refer themselves and will be helped to find the most appropriate class for them.


Sessions will provide information about related topics, such as healthy eating, winter warmth, exercise and how to prevent falls. The programme will be a mix of newly commissioned specialist classes and improving access to existing sessions, with people able to move between the two depending on their circumstances. These sessions will be delivered by appropriately qualified coaches (the Later Life Otago Exercise Leaders Award or equivalent will be the minimum operating requirement). These will be complemented with additional activities such as:

  • Chair based exercise and coordination
  • EXTEND exercise sessions
  • Tai Chi
  • 'Walking for Health' walks – gentle walks in the local area
  • Use of strength and balance exercise DVDs (e.g. Later Life resources)
  • Programme of exercises developed to do at home
  • Water-based programmes

The sessions will also include:

  • Advice and signposting to other services and help e.g. Warm and Well and social
  • groups.
  • At appropriate times to include the Warwick Edinburgh and Timed Up and Go
  • Test.
  • Time for socialising (e.g. having a cup of tea with other participants)

To refer yourself or find out more call North Yorkshire Sport on 01423 226303 or email info@northyorkshiresport.co.uk