Brenda's a 'super stepper'

Date Released - 21/04/2022

A HOUSEBOUND octogenarian has become more active after taking part in a trial scheme aimed at boosting activity for people with mobility issues.

Brenda Chilton, 83 and from Droylsden, took part in the DAD (Denton, Audenshaw and Droyslden) Super Steppers initiative, organised by Tameside Council’s Adults service, as one of 11 selected participants tasked with completing as many steps as they can over a two week period. She even won a prize for completing the most steps of the group.

Brenda found it was straightforward taking part in the Super Steppers project: “The healthcare workers sent me a letter explaining what to do. It was easy so I could do it without any support, but they did ring me up and gave me encouragement, which was really nice. My son also helped me because I kept forgetting my steps at first so he bought me a pedometer.”

To increase her step count, Brenda walked around her house more, used the stairs instead of her stairlift and walked in her garden.

Brenda will definitely be keeping this up now the project is finished. “I will be carrying on, using my pedometer and the water bottle I won is fantastic to keep me hydrated. I am now aware of the advantages of keeping my muscles supple.”

The Super Steppers project was the brainchild of student district nurse Lianne Bailey who wanted to help people who are housebound or have poor mobility become more active.

People taking part were contacted on the first week to record their steps and provided with encouragement and then contacted again at the end of the scheme.

Tameside health professionals wrote to the participants explaining the benefits of being more active. These include helping strengthen muscles, joints and bones; helping to manage existing conditions; reducing the risk of long-term conditions and boosting mental health and wellbeing.

In total, the participants’ combined step count was 165,171, which is estimated at 82.5 miles, or the equivalent of walking from Droylsden to Sheffield and back.

Stephanie  Butterworth, Tameside Council director of Adult Services, said: “The Super Stepper project helped us develop our understating of how to support people so they can take ownership of their own wellbeing, even if they are unable to get out and about or have limited movement. As part of the project, we evaluated what we would do differently next time and how we support people with conditions such as  COPD and diabetes to ensure people live well.

For anyone who wants to become more active, Brenda has a few words of encouragement: “If you are finding it difficult, just try to stay on your feet a little bit longer, have a little walk to the kitchen, and just try to keep mobile. Sometimes you have to make yourself do it because otherwise you can get stuck in a rut.

“Doing this has inspired me to walk more often.”