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Revolutionizing Healthcare: Turning Golf Clubs Into Outpatient Clinics To Tackle The Impact Of Ageing And Dementia

seniors on the golf course waving

Sport for Confidence CIC has teamed up with Golf in Society to deliver a research project exploring how golfing interventions can improve health and strength in frail people living with dementia.

The project is being delivered courtesy of a funding grant provided through the UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Scaling Social Ventures competition, designed to support social enterprises in developing products and services that tackle the impact of ageing.

Golf in Society is on a mission to transform the lives of our ageing population by reimagining and repurposing golf clubs as community-based outpatient clinics.

The social enterprise is currently running inclusive golf sessions at 6 venues focused on improving the mental, physical and social health of participants whilst also providing much-needed respite to carers and supporters.

Using a unique Direct Social Value method, Golf In Society has evidenced, for every £1 invested, the programme delivers a return of £16.46 in social value.

Anthony Blackburn, Founder of Golf in Society, says: “This funding will enable us to run a research programme measuring the positive impact golf can have, when applied as a therapeutic tool, on those who are frail and living with dementia.

“To design and deliver the programme we have teamed up with Sport For Confidence, a Community Interest Company operating out of Essex, dedicated to unlocking the potential of occupational therapists in a prevention rather than cure, community-based health care system.

Our research programme will evaluate the impact of prescribed and administered physical activity on strength, life satisfaction, self-esteem and confidence as well as the added value this programme delivers to carers and supporters, in terms of enabling respite.”

The 12-week research programme will begin in the summer and will take place at two existing Golf in Society venues, Hillsborough Golf Club and Rotherham Golf Club.

Each programme will cater for 10 individuals referred through local NHS services.  Sessions will be delivered by a Golf in Society coach, working alongside a Sport For Confidence occupational therapist and physiotherapist.

Every session will be tailored to the individual needs of participants and success will be measured through a series of participant surveys and health assessments designed by our research partners, the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) and Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC).

Speaking about the partnership, Liz Fletcher, National Team Lead at Sport For Confidence, says: “There are some great synergies between what Sport For Confidence and  Golf in Society.

At Sport For Confidence, we already see the positive impact of moving treatment from a clinical to a community environment and placing physical activity at the heart of the therapeutic practice.

I am confident that this latest research programme with Golf in Society will add to the evidence we have already collated, further strengthening the case for more physical activity-based, community preventative health initiatives to help alleviate the pressures on the NHS and drive a healthier, happier and more prosperous society.”

For more information about Sport For Confidence, visit: sportforconfidence.com. For more information about Golf in Society, visit: golfinsociety.com

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