Heather Osak's Story
Heather Osak been volunteering as a leader at the Wiltshire Age UK Fitness and Friendship club based in Calne, Wiltshire. Heather has held voluntary roles in the past as an Age Concern befriender for about 2-3 yrs which involved her looking after an elderly lady. She would go to her home and keep her company, make sure she was ok and took her out on day trips.
Heather has always had an interest in sport and fitness and used to be a Volleyball instructor when she was in the Forces. She decided to become more involved in working with people and was interested to use sport and fitness of a way to do this.
As a social person she gets great satisfaction from the role and enjoys seeing people achieve their goals with a smile.
One of the challenges Heather has found is making sure her sessions are suitable for variety of people and their various physical differences. She has had to learn a lot about the different types of disability and how to make sure people exercise safely.
Heather finds that volunteering as a leader is very rewarding and as she loves meeting new people and making them smile, it gives her much pleasure.
The Low Impact Functional Training course Heather attended before becoming a leader for Age UK enabled her to learn many new skills, including lesson planning, timings and teaching activities for the appropriate level for all to enjoy. She has enjoyed learning new exercises and how to use new equipment like resistance bands.
The Fitness and Friendship Clubs provide not only a chance to socialise but to be more physically active, which helps many older people become more mobile and increase their confidence. If Heather hadn’t taken on the lead volunteer role the class would have come to an end.
Heather would recommend volunteering to friends and family and is often telling people how rewarding she finds it. Its great to see people enjoying themselves and smiling throughout the sessions. It is also a great benefit to the community.