Primetime buddies give older residents zest for life
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Primetime buddies give older residents zest for life

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Glasses were raised at a celebratory lunch to thank the Primetime Buddies, an enthusiastic group of 19 volunteers who encourage their peers to use exercise equipment and participate in fitness classes at Mytime Active leisure centres across the London Borough of Bromley.

Each 'Buddy' volunteers at least ten hours per month helping residents aged 60 plus to enjoy a more active lifestyle by encouraging them to try out classes from aqua aerobics to Zumba. The support given by the volunteers, who are all retirees, ranges from providing reassurance and company to those wanting to do something new to helping out with group gym introductions and helping those with disabilities attend classes.

Mytime Active offers 64 dedicated Primetime sessions per week at eight venues across the London Borough of Bromley. Activities on offer are either specific to or inclusive of the Borough's older population and include pilates, badminton, table tennis and sequence dancing. The sessions aim to improve the health and fitness of residents aged 60 plus in a sociable and friendly environment.

The 'thank you' event was attended by Mytime Active Chief Executive Steve Price and London Borough of Bromley councillor Graham Arthur. The Primetime Buddies were also presented with certificates for winning the team award at last week's Community Links Bromley ceremony.

Steve Price said the Buddies were valued members of the Mytime Active team: "As peer mentors, our Primetime Buddies walk, talk, dance, bat and pump their duties encouraging new people to become more active and change their lives. Primetime would not be the same without their help and support.

"The Primetime Buddies are a vibrant group always willing to go the extra mile for their colleagues and co-members. We only have to say to visitors 'look for the lady in lime green' and we know they will be offered empathy, support, encouragement and be looked after inside and out of our centres."

Lynn Panteli, a 62-year-old Primetime Buddy at The Pavilion, Bromley, said that since she retired, her life has been transformed by becoming a Buddy: "I feel like I have made friends for life," she said. "It is not like attending a leisure centre.  It feels like we have all known each other for years, I don't know what I would do without Primetime."

Primetime 'Buddies' provide a warm welcome to members and visitors at The Beckenham Spa, The Walnuts Leisure Centre in Orpington, West Wickham Leisure Centre, The Pavilion Bromley, Crofton Halls, Beckenham Public Halls and The Great Hall Bromley. The scheme is set to be introduced at Biggin Hall in the autumn.

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Glasses were raised at a celebratory lunch to thank the Primetime Buddies, an enthusiastic group of 19 volunteers who encourage their peers to use exercise equipment and participate in fitness classes at Mytime Active leisure centres across the London Borough of Bromley.
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