PHOTO: SIMON DEWHURST PHOTOGRAPHY
Oomph!’s exercise sessions are fun and try to create a party atmosphere
Demand was good and the concept swiftly caught on, with 200 care homes buying in Oomph! services and 30 fitness instructors being employed. However, because of the cost to the home, the old people were only getting to do an exercise session once or twice a month, which wasn’t enough to bring about any meaningful benefits. “Care home budgets are constrained: they want to provide the service, but it’s expensive for them,” says Allen. “We looked at how we could improve the frequency and impact, which led to a pivot in the business model. Instead of sending in our own instructors, we started training care home staff to run the sessions. They already have relationships with the residents and are ideally placed to deliver the sessions.” As a result, the cost per session plummeted from £45 per session to £6, which was cheap and sustainable. Now Oomph! works in more than 1,000 care homes across the UK and clocked up 940,000 participant hours last year, with people taking part three times a week on average. “We have partnered with universities and appointed a head of impact to constantly monitor and analyse ©cybertrek 2018
= average participant rating for trips
71% were more
83% were more socially engaged
% had an improved mood
83% of the staff said
at least half of the residents were more engaged in other activities after going on trips
results,” says Allen. “An evaluation by Cumbria University showed a 14 per cent improvement in quality of life in our latest annual impact report, measured via industry standard tool EQ 5D-SL. The survey was done before and after the intervention and assesses self-reported wellbeing.” Allen didn’t stop there, keen to find other ways of stimulating care home residents, a second service was launched in 2015. Activity Leadership in Care is all about running other lifeaffirming activities, such as art, music and singing. A qualification is offered and homes that subscribe receive support, resource packs and ideas to run the activities. This costs £3,000 to £4,000 per home, and includes an annual package of support and training for multi-disciplinary staff teams and managers in exercise and activities leadership. So far Oomph! has trained around 2,000 co-ordinators in 1,000 care settings.
% of participants were wheelchair users
Both interventions have had a huge impact on the quality of life for the residents, but Allen was concerned that it was all still based indoors:
Read online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital
Leisure Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global leisure industry.