Project information

Merry Heart Project

Wayside Centre will promote health and fitness activities for older members of the Black & Ethnic Minority Community of Hackney. The project will work with other agencies to provide opportunities to encourage socially excluded elders to access community facilities and remain independent longer.

March 2017 - February 2018

Charity information: Wayside Community Centre

Wayside Community Centre logo
  • Need


    Social isolation, poverty, lack of access to services, resources and skills. Little social support and social exclusion lead to poor health. In 2015 Hackney was ranked the 11th most deprived local authority in England. Evidence published in the local authority index of deprivation statistics in 2010, showed a correlation between social, economic and environmental disadvantage and poor health. Social activity has always played a huge part in the lives of BME individuals and provided an alternativ


    Wayside Centre will continue to deliver a programme of Health and social activities to educate individuals on the effects of heart disease and other chronic conditions relating to lack of exercise and diet.The programme will give elderly people the opportunity to get socially connected by getting out of the house, meeting other like minded people and share in laughter, story telling and take part in other fun activities such as zumba fitness, group discussions and advocacy services

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Decrease the prevalence of cardiovascular disease amongst low income and socially excluded elders.


    » Work with health professionals to provide workshops on Diabetes, strokes and other chronic health conditions to prevent the onset of ill health.
    » Provide a programme of fitness activities, i.e, zumba fitness & gentle seated chair exercise to improve breathing and strengthen limbs and muscles
    » Leisure activities to places of interest, trips to the theatre, cinema, walks along canals and parks to promote an active lifestyle.

    Success will be seeing an improvement in the health conditions of 30 chronically ill people and getting them to perform tasks that previously were difficult for them to achieve

    Aim 2

    To reduce social isolation and increase social integration and bring about a sense of well- being.


    » Organise 48 sessions of zumba fitness with 15 elderly people attending. This activity will help to strengthen limbs and improve breathing.
    » Organise 48 sessions Gentle seated chair exercise to 13 elderly frail people weekly. This activity is to strengthen limbs and prevent falls.
    » Providing advocacy support to the elderly members of the community.

    Success will be seeing the improvement in mood and the development of friendships between people who were previously strangers

  • Impact


    Boost the immune system and help prevent cardiovascular disease, prevent depression, and promote positive self esteem. improvement in service users being able to do household chores, through having more vitality and the use of joints that previously was dis-functional
    The opportunity to build lasting relationships
    The chance to become more socially involve in community activities.


    There is a risk that people may drop out periodically and numbers of attendances decrease. We have dealt with this risk by putting policies in place to keep in touch with users of the service by letter / telephone. We also regularly advertise in Hackney Today a local free paper published through the Local authority and distributed house to house around the borough.


    Funders will be contacted according to the requirements of each individual donor. However In all cases we will send newsletters, and end of year reports. Additionally we will send information on any changes that may occur during the life of the project, and upcoming activities/functions.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,930

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,440 Zumba Fitness Holding 48 sessing per year
      £1,440 Chair exercise Holding 48 sessing per year
      £1,000 Advocacy To be able to facilitate this project effectively
      £920 Venue hire To carry out activities
      £1,130 Admin Administration and equipment maintenance
  • Background


    Our project is located in Hackney one of the most deprived Boroughs in the country.This is an area of great need where people are poor, often separated from their families and living alone, with little to do, almost no human contact or support. Emotional and Mental health are under great strain and physical ill health or lack of mobility often compound the problem. Many of our members have nowhere else to go when they turn to us for help.


    Older people living in Hackney particularly the poorest, most excluded and isolated among them and those who have or are at risk of developing mental ill health will benefit. Given our target area and beneficiaries we anticipate we will particularly draw in the majority of people from African and Caribbean descent who are living alone. Over 50's will have the opportunity to socialise and develop friendshipswhilst looking after their health.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have successfully provided services to this under-privilege community for over 26 years. We are a listening organisation and have knowledge of the needs of individuals particularly the elderly and have tried to provide services to meet those needs. Over the years we have received numerous feedback of customer satisfaction and improvements in health. In response grateful customers have given back to the organisation by offering to become volunteers.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tanisha Watson-Reynolds

    Project Manager Tanisha will be the person responsible for overseeing the project and reporting to the funders on the progress of the project.

I can now walk up the stairs without getting out of breath