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Working with Maccabi GB to promote health and wellbeing

23 November 2021

Jewish Blind & Disabled and Maccabi GB have joined forces to deliver a programme of accessible sports for tenants living at Jewish Blind & Disabled developments.

During lockdown, tenant’s health and wellbeing was a key focus of our Zoom programme. From exercise classes, mindfulness, relaxation, pilates and yoga to name a few, tenants had the opportunity to get involved from the comfort of their own flat. As these all proved to be popular and now classes and activities can happen in person again, we have been looking at different ways to promote health and wellbeing activities.

Clive Geller, a tenant and a Vice President and former Chairman of Maccabi GB was always keen to see a closer partnership between the two organisations. He commented: “I am very pleased to see that the relationship between Maccabi GB and JBD is beginning to move forward and that accessible sports and wellbeing activities are starting to take place.  I hope that the future will be bright for both of our organisations and await with interest to seeing how the programme develops.”

A consultation exercise took place with Maccabi GB and tenants to establish what sports people would be interested in and what they used to enjoy but felt they could no longer access. The trial pilot, a five-week programme of accessible golf, was launched at two of the developments. The programme is suitable for any tenants that wish to join of any age and no matter what their disability is.

Tenants at two developments participated in the accessible golf and there was positive feedback all round. Malcolm, a Jewish Blind & Disabled tenant said: “I used to play golf and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play again. It was something different and lovely to see people enjoying themselves no matter how good or bad they were at golf.” Diane said: “I have never played golf before but it was something fun to do and it was good exercise for me.”

Following the success of the programme we are working with Maccabi GB to consider taster five-week programmes in different developments with a range of accessible sporting activities, including archery and walking football, using a ball that is adapted and has chimes in it to ensure those with visual impairments can also play.

Ashley Lerner, Chief Executive at Maccabi GB commented: ‘It’s great to be working together with Jewish Blind & Disabled on this important project. We have each recognised the importance of promoting health and wellbeing and making it accessible to anyone and I look forward to watching this partnership grow’.

Simone Mazin, Jewish Blind & Disabled’s Community Engagement Manager said; “By working in partnership with Maccabi GB I hope we can introduce accessible sports and wellbeing activities that are an opportunity for tenants to take part in, activities that many assume they can no longer do. It has been great to see tenants get so involved and enjoy the accessible golf and I look forward to seeing how the programme develops.”

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