ENTHUSIASTIC fans of an activity which could be described as ‘chair exercise’ have celebrated a special milestone.
The ‘Singercise’ participants have marked a year since their club started at St James Church Hall in Milton.
About 40 people were there to move and sing along to songs while seated, before a first anniversary lunch and cutting of a cake.
Organiser David Warren-Holland, 78, of Southsea, said he was thrilled with how the group had developed over the past 12 months.
He said: ‘It started off as a six-week experiment to see if it would take off.
‘Then we were doing it every other week and now we do it every week.
‘We average about 25 to 30 members every week and it has just grown and grown.’
Singercise’s elderly participants move along to the tunes while seated, led by instructor Jo Lloyd who also gives them motivation and support.
Ms Lloyd, who works at the John Pounds in Portsea, said the activity had wide-ranging advantages.
She said: ‘They’re benefiting from exercise and using weights.
‘There’s a strong social aspect to it as well.’
Mr Warren-Holland said Singercise helped fight off feelings of isolation and loneliness that people often felt if they lived alone as they grew older.
He said: ‘It makes a real difference in people’s lives.
‘The important thing is the fun element.
‘Some of the people who come are quite isolated and lonely so they come along to enjoy themselves.’
Mr Warren-Holland said the group had expanded to include young people with special needs from the Mary Rose Academy in Southsea and Creative Advances Daycare Centre in North End.
He said they were a welcome addition to the group.
‘We use puppets as well and they really connect with those and get a lot out of it,’ added Mr Warren-Holland.
The group gets together on Thursdays from 11.30am. Call 07754 528 814.