In May Forever Manchester delivered funding across Greater Manchester, benefiting nearly 50,000 people across the region.

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Forever Manchester funds and supports a variety of community groups and projects who bring people from all walks of life together. Moving and Development Offerton Community Group (MADOCG) based in Stockport are proud to have a former Olympian attending their group every week.

MADOCG strive to get the local residents of Offerton up, active, and enjoying life, through fitness classes. Their seated yoga programme is very popular, offering elderly residents the chance to get physically active and do vigorous exercises – whilst seated!

With a regular attendance of 20 people each week, the group are now reaching out and trying to help those with physical, mental and emotional issues which are amplified by isolation. MADOCG want to reduce any form of loneliness in their local area, whilst also creating friendships and improving fitness levels.

Funding from Forever Manchester has meant the group are better able cater for their growing attendance, enabling them to buy exercise belts and balls.

Katie, the yoga instructor, adjusts the exercises to suit individual needs, so that the hour long class caters to all who attend. Those with limited mobility are given gentle exercises, and members such as Barbara, 80, who are incredibly flexible, can stretch and push their limits. Once the hour is up, the group go into the community café for a chat and coffee.

Alan Newton first started attending the classes in 2014, after looking for some kind of fitness classes that would suit his needs, along with those of his wife, Barbara.

Alan was once an Olympic cyclist, winning a bronze medal in the 1952 Olympics held in Helsinki. Offerton born and bred, Alan has become a regular attendee at the class, enhancing the pride of the group.

Alan is thankful for MADOCG and the yoga class, “Since a stroke in 2002, I find it difficult to balance and would not be able to jump or even cycle which is frustrating. Seated yoga is ideal for me and is a satisfying way to find fitness and movement. The community centre is an excellent facility and we have a fantastic suitor.”