Picture: Bridget (front row, second left) and Barry (front row, far right) with Great East Run Outreach programme participants in 2018 

Residents and organisations in the public and voluntary sector have come out in support of the county’s Keep Moving Suffolk campaign.

Led by Suffolk’s Most Active County Partnership, the campaign supports everyone in Suffolk to get active from the safety of their homes and gardens, or during their one session of daily exercise away from their home, during the current Covid-19 pandemic social distancing arrangements.

It’s all about giving people tips and advice to support a healthy mind and body and the key focus is the website keepmovingsuffolk.com which is full of local and national information and resources that have been developed specifically to make it easy for people to become, or remain, active at home during these challenging times.

The website has come about as a means to address the need to give people a range of alternative options whilst we are all required to isolate following the closure of gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools and the cancellation of classes and activities. Without us all taking positive action, physical activity levels could tumble and cause a long-term impact on physical and mental health and wellbeing in the county.

Within its first week, the website has been used over 2,500 times and there has been great support through social media with over 75,000 Twitter impressions. As well as visiting the website, there is information on the Keep Moving Suffolk social media channels where we want you to share with us your stories of how you are keeping active. On Facebook and Instagram @keepmovingsuffolk or visit KeepMovingSuffolk or on Twitter, you can find us at @Most_Active 

Leading praise for the campaign is the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lady Clare Euston, who said: “Keep Moving Suffolk is a marvellous initiative which will make such a positive contribution to keeping up morale. We know how important this is for our wellbeing and mental health.”

Former Olympian, Bill Tancred from Felixstowe commented “I fully endorse Keep Moving Suffolk’s new resources to enable everyone regardless of age, fitness and ability to take some form of enjoyable exercise during this terrible situation we are all facing. This is a great initiative to keep us all healthy both in mind and body.”

Suffolk powerlifter Zoe Newson who won medals at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games said: “Sometimes it’s hard being an athlete and a mum but I always find a way of doing both. I am supporting the campaign as I love my sport and just want people to get involved because it keeps you healthy and fit.”

Husband and wife couple, Barry ‘Baz’ and Bridget Goldstone are just one example of a number of people backing the campaign as Keep Moving Suffolk ‘Champions’. Baz and Bridget are well known locally for their work in supporting people to get active through running, and were responsible for getting ‘Great Run Local’ at Needham Lakes off the ground. They have also delivered the ‘Great East Run’ Outreach Programme since it was established in 2017.

Bridget’s story

“Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak I have never felt so thankful that I now have the means to take time out every day to stay fit, healthy and active through Keep Moving Suffolk.

“Having previously been very ill with kidney failure I was fortunate to receive a kidney transplant in 1991. After my transplant I was determined to make the most of every day and started to run to keep fit. I was subsequently selected to represent GB at 3 World Transplant Games, winning gold, silver and bronze medals at each event.

“As a kidney transplant patient the NHS has identified me as someone at extremely high risk of being severely ill if I contract Coronavirus and at a higher risk of needing hospital care. I now face the challenge of a three-month isolation period, but I know that because I have always given time to keeping myself as fit and healthy as possible, I have given myself the best possible chance of survival.

“My usual daily routine of working out at the health club and going for regular runs with my husband Baz will no longer happen so it’s now more important than ever that I keep myself fit, both physically and mentally.

“I know I’m going to find the next three months quite challenging, but by supporting the Keep Moving Suffolk Campaign I hope I will inspire others to join me in a fitter , healthier and happier lifestyle.”

Barry’s story

“I am now retired but have always followed an active lifestyle. In my younger days it was football, rugby, cricket, skiing and golf. Now I enjoy running, cycling, gym classes and dog walking.

“I’m a UK Athletics Endurance coach and have completed 15 marathons. I still run regularly up to Half Marathon distance. At 68 years of age, having had 10 knee operations and also a heart condition, I’m slower now but the important thing is I’m still out there keeping fit.

“Over the last years I have also been a lead coach on the Great East Run Outreach Programme in Suffolk which has helped promote a more active lifestyle for those who have struggled with exercise in the past. I feel it is so important to keep active, whatever your age and I fully endorse the Keep Moving Suffolk campaign . Hopefully I can encourage others even in this difficult times to keep fit and stay healthy both in body and mind.”

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