AN ANDOVER therapy centre is leading the way to help residents in the town improve their strength and reduce their risk of falls.

Re-established in September 2021 after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions; and with the notion of living with coronavirus in society; local charity Valley Leisure and their I Can Therapy Centre team prioritised restarting the community based strength and balance classes to help adults in Andover to live independently for longer and avoid falls.

Reducing falls is a key national priority. One in three people aged over 65 years and half of those aged 80 years and over fall at least once per year. A fall can result in a hip fracture, a serious and life threatening complication of a fall.

On average there are more than 1,500 emergency admissions for hip fractures a year, costing the NHS Health and Social Care system around £1bn. Half of those people with hip fracture never regain their former mobility and one in five people die within three months of a hip fracture.

READ MORE: I Can Therapy Centre moves to new Andover Union Street site

Endorsed by Hampshire County Council’s Public Health and Adult Services departments, Steady and Strong is a county wide, evidence-based exercise initiative to tackle the high incidence of falls across the county.

Jacob Webb, I Can Therapy Centre’s exercise therapist, said: “On returning to exercise after the lockdowns, we’ve noticed that people are less steady on their feet and our customers have said their health has deteriorated.

“We’ve prioritised re-establishing Steady and Strong classes to help people increase their strength, improve their balance and feel more confident in their everyday life. By completing a one hour Steady and Strong exercise class each week for 36 weeks, we can help reduce people’s risk of falling. In time, the more people we get steady on their feet and less fearful of falling, the more we will help the local NHS. It’s a win-win!”

Charity champion, Cllr Iris Andersen, added: “It is very important to keep ourselves active. This is a very easy way to get motivated. You will get all the help and support you need from the team and you can also meet new friends.”

SEE ALSO: Andover Therapy Centre hosts event encouraging residents to ‘move more’

Classes are delivered on Wednesdays as a course of six sessions, costing £36 per course; and are designed to help people improve strength and balance; enabling people to live independently for longer and avoid falls.

For more information or to book a place on the next Steady and Strong exercise courses starting in February, callontact I Can Therapy Centre on 01264 568241, email or visit

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Kimberley Barber