When Bill Kennedy started visiting Age UK Tameside two years ago, he had to use sticks to walk and was suffering badly from his COPD condition. Fast forward to 2019, and Bill has reignited a love for a sport he used to do when he was in the army and as a young lad – boxing.
Now, at the age of 87, Bill no longer uses his sticks, his breathing is better, and he is showing his exercise instructor the ropes!
Bill said: “After my wife, Nessie, passed away, I was encouraged by my family to socialise. “I was fed up of sitting in the house all the time, lonely, on my own, so my daughter said I should try Age UK Tameside and I’ve never looked back! “It is really good, I love the exercises that I do with Danny. But he is getting a bit fed up with me punching him, and when I manage to get past him. “I also join in with the kurling, bowling and singing, and sometimes I get up to dance.
“I have always been an active person, but I am not as fit as I used to be, but I try. “When I first came here, I could hardly walk, used a walking stick all the time, and now I hardly have to use it – really only when I am outside – on an uneven pavement.
“Exercise so good for me, I feel so much better for it. I keep telling everyone I’m 21 – but they don’t believe me! “I would say to anyone that wants to come to Age UK Tameside, and join in with the activities, that if you are doing exercises here you can get rid of that walking stick – just try! “You have got to keep busy – it makes you down in the dumps otherwise – I would be lost if this place did not exist, we have a laugh and a joke. It is great – it really helps me a lot.”
For more information on activities at Age UK Tameside go to www.ageuk.org.uk/tameside