STRENGTH and Balance Classes, which help to reduce the number of older people at risk of falling across Worcestershire, have won a national award.

The Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire received recognition from the CSP Network when it was awarded an Impact Award at the annual CSP Network national conference for its work in delivering the Strength and Balance Programme across Worcestershire.

The CSP Network Impact Awards acknowledge innovative projects, which illustrate the diverse work that county sport partnerships are doing locally, to get more people active.

As part of the Worcestershire County Council Public Health Joint Strategic Needs Assessment it was identified that in Worcestershire there were an estimated 500 fallers in the 65 plus population each year with half of these leading to an admission to hospital.

Postural Stability Instruction (or PSI as it is more commonly known) was commissioned by the Worcestershire Public Health team as it has been subject to the highest level of research and shown that it is the most effective intervention to reduce the risk of older people falling.

Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, was contracted to deliver the Postural Stability Instruction Service for two years following a successful tender, and have since rebranded the classes we run as Strength and Balance Classes.

Steve Brewster, director of The Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, said “We saw this project as an opportunity to diversify the work that they do. The classes are also highly complementary to our existing work and help us in engaging older adults in activity or helping keeping them active.

“To win an award for doing this work is just an added bonus, the main objective is that it assists us achieve our vision of creating a healthier and fitter two counties.”

The Strength and Balance exercise classes are for people who feel unsteady on their feet or have had a fall.

The benefits of the classes include improvement of balance and co-ordination, increased functional capacity, increased bone and muscle mass, improved confidence to reduce the fear of falling, and a chance to socialise.

Held at community venues around Worcestershire, the classes are run from Monday to Friday, generally between 10am – 4pm and each class lasts an hour. There is no minimum age for the classes, and people from their 50s all the way up to their late 90s have attended.

The classes run for 33 weeks and once a class comes to an end attendees are encouraged to join a maintenance class (which many of the instructors run privately) as well as being directed to other sporting activities they could get involved with activities such as bowls.

For more information about the classes or Sports Partnership visit