Business putting some Oomph into exercise for elderly

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A BUSINESS that provides exercise therapy for elderly residents in nursing and residential care homes is expanding after receiving financial support from a charity which rewards the work of social entrepreneurs.

Oomph – which stands for ‘Our Organisation Makes People Happy – has received funding of £15,000 from UnLtd.

The company, which is run by 26-year-old entrepreneur Ben Allen, is one of only nine businesses nationally, and the only one in Yorkshire, to receive a Level 2 award, which is given to individuals whose ideas are already off the ground and now want help taking their project to the next level.

Mr Allen started Oomph in May last year with a class in Scarborough’s Dunollie Care Home.

The firm, which has its head office in York and a current turnover of £112,980, will use the funding to employ more fitness instructors who can deliver the classes in more care homes.

The company currently works with more than 300 nursing and residential care homes, as well as day care services, across Northern England and Yorkshire, delivering a range of exercise and activity programmes for more than 7,500 people per month.

These exercises and activities include chair aerobics, chair cheerleading, dancing, music and arts and crafts, and they are all aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of elderly care home residents.

Mr Allen said: “There are currently over 36,000 nursing and residential care homes in the UK with over 200,000 frail adults receiving 24-hour care in these settings.

“When you consider Oomph is already the largest provider of exercise therapy to care homes, with classes being provided in over 300 homes each month, there is tremendous scope for further growth. Over the next 12 months we are aiming to be delivering exercise and activity programmes to over 1,000 homes, which will help to improve the lives of 30,000 people each month.

“This award from UnLtd is fantastic and will allow us to employ more fitness instructors to deliver more sessions in homes, and move us closer to our overall goal of rolling out our exercise therapy provision across the whole of the UK.”

One of the companies that use Oomph’s services is Wellburn Care Homes, which has 14 nursing and residential care homes in Yorkshire and the North East.

Wellburn’s managing director Karl Beckett said: “We have been very impressed with the sessions provided by Oomph at our homes and the feedback we have received from residents and staff has been very positive.

“The instructors take time to bond with the residents and ensure that even the less able bodied are able to take part and feel involved.”