8 Week Wellbeing and Fitness Programme.

 8 Week Wellbeing and Fitness Programme.
Kool Carers are delighted to be delivering an 8 week bespoke Health and Fitness programme to our young carers in partnership with The Wellbeing Hub (https://www.thewellbeinghub.me) which has been very kindly funded by Active Essex.  All photographs have been taken with the consent of parents, carers and young carers.

In total, 18 Young carers have chosen to attend this intense conditioning programme three times a week so that they can benefit from the positive impact that physical activity can have on managing the stresses of everyday life. Delivered by qualified personal trainers, each young carer will be encouraged to try new activities including gym work and orienteering which will help to build their resilience and enhance their overall wellbeing as they go through the sessions. Combined with the physical training we are also running sessions using Arts and Crafts to help enhance the emotional wellbeing of the young carers.

At the end of the programme we hope that the young carers have a greater understanding that self-care is at the heart of caring for others.

Day One

The group were split into two with half of the group taking on the demands of the PT session led by Neil and half taking a gentler approach with Arts and Crafts led by Vic.

Neil spoke about the health and safety rules of using the equipment and then started with a warmup using a heavy rope followed by a session with kettle bells. Carers were then put through their paces doing a relay of running through tyres and passing weighted balls. The final session focused on their core muscles.



Vic led a wonderful session with the young carers getting them to create wooden wall plaques. It really was an anything goes session with Vic’s gentle encouragement of “you can’t do anything wrong in here” the carers were able to start on a lovely unique piece of artwork for them to take home. 


Day Two

This session saw all of the young carers participating in fitness training with Neil, Vic particpated alongside the carers and there was even a special run out by yours truly. The carers started with some gentle warmup exercises, squats, punches, jumps, followed by the favourite climb outs. Carers then needed to rely on their co-ordination and speed as they manouvered in and out of tyres and completed short sprints and went on a twilight walk around the estate. The young carers are really working well as a group and are looking forward to the next session which sees the start of their orienteering training.

Day 3
This was the first session with Clive a trained mountaineer who will be leading the sessions on orienteering and outdoor survival. This week we looked at two key concepts for survival. we looked at the survival mantra.

Adapt, Improvise,Overcome, Survive and Thrive

We looked at how we can apply this to our general life and our thought processes. We learned about Turkey Tails and King Alfreds Cakes, both types of fungus living in the local area. The session culminated in then making twine. 

Day 4
Yet another session where Neil put the young carers through their paces.  Lots of work on the punch bag followed by sprints and then a bonus set of burpees. The young carers all worked really hard and there was lots of pink cheeks all round. 

Young carers with Vic finished off their wall plaques, lots of practice taken on colour blending and some young carers used a Cricut machine to put vinyl writing on their wall plaques. The pieces of art the young carers are producing under Vics supervision are really beautiful. 

Day 5

Today’s session centred on speed, coordination and team work. There are some lovely friendship groups developing within the group and their confidence levels are increasing.

Day 6

We had somewhat depleted numbers this session due to illness and other commitments, however the session was well received by all. Clive concentrated on the creation of somewhere safe to make a shelter and what you can use to ensure that you stay warm and dry.

Day 7 Arts and Crafts

Carers working with Vic completed their wall plaques and then worked on a collaborative piece of art work to hang in the studio.


Day 7 Gym

The carers working with Neil were once again put through their paces doing circuit work around the Gym. At one point it looked like the ministry of funny walks from Monty Python as the carers moved across the floor like crabs and mountain climbers. The confidence and teamwork are really starting to shine through with this group.

Day 8

This session featured many great things, unfortunately it also featured a camera malfunction so pictures did not come up. The young carers sent a lot of time outside doing ball games, the teamwork was in evidence again with lots of calling for each other and playing in squads.

Day 9

Another session in the fresh air for the young carers. This time we worked on problem solving, asking each other questions and making plans of how to tackle a problem.  Carers were shown how to use a compass and how to gauge distance when you have no measuring device. On a sub note lots of the parents have started walking together whilst the young carers are working with Clive so the positive effects are being felt through the families.


Day 10

Young carers that were working with Vic started to use new pieces of equipment and experiment with different mediums. There have been some great designs that they have come up with and they have really enjoyed these sessions.

Depleted numbers in the fitness group led to some intense boxing fitness sessions, some great calling for each other and teamwork yet again!

Day 11

Small numbers at the moment as we have a lot of illness running through the troups. Great teamwork with the young carers working with both Vic and Neil. The kids are really enjoying the challenges that Neil and Vic come up with each week.



Day 12

Great work from all of the young carers and we are almost back up to full force. Lots of circuit work and running in the area for the guys today. Forfeits for Neil and many laughs all round.

This evenings sessions were back to full capacity. 
Vic’s young carers started to create cardboard boxes and work on individual pieces of work as they embraced their creativity. We even had an impromptu sing along which kept our spirits high. 
Neil’s young carers started the session with some kettle bell work and then went onto some core strengthening with crunches, sit ups and twists and turns.  
The young carers are really gelling as a team and all watch out for each other within the sessions. It is evident to see the benefits that this programme is having not only on the physical, but also the emotional, wellbeing of the young carers. 
We look forward to the Wednesday mystery session that Neil has planned. 

Photos from Saturday session. We learnt about how to safely start and contain a fire, what is needed to make a fire, emergency use of fire and most importantly how to make Smores.

Some amazing work at both the PT sessions and the arts and crafts sessions this evening. Concentrating on Upper body with lots of medicine ball work and hand eye co ordination. Vics team were using paper clay to make models and paint them. These sessions have been so beneficial to the young carers with both emotional and physical wellbeing needs met.