Residents of Market Drayton in Shropshire are benefitting in multiple ways from a project funded by Sport England’s Together Fund. The project aims to support the social cohesion of younger people and older adults within the community through physical activity and wellbeing activities. This project specifically targets the Lower Socio-Economic Group (LSEG) community living in an Index of Multiple Deprivation Level 2 (IMD 2) area.

This project started in August 2022 and supports 3 strands:

1) Gardening & Social Farm Activities including developing the orchard and knowledge of health eating activities

2) Sport and Physical Activity Sessions e.g. Zumba, seated clubbercise, bowls, boccia, new age curling, parachute activities, yoga and line dancing

3) Local Community based activities e.g. litter picks, coffee mornings, bird watching.


We recently visited Longlands Primary School where Year 5 pupils were providing guided activity sessions for residents of Hatton Care Home. The activities included Boccia and Beanbags, Parachute games and making Easter cards. You can see a video of our visit here: 


Pupils and care home residents alike have said the sessions give them enjoyment and an increased sense of community.

A pupil said:

“By taking part in these sessions I have learnt not to be shy around new people and to be more active.”

Another pupil said:

“I have enjoyed the feeling of being able to help and have gained more confidence around elderly people.”


Hatton Care Home staff added:

“The residents have felt included and fulfilled. This has really pushed the care home residents forward and we have seen their competitive side! Previously one resident never came out of their room or even spoke, before taking part in these sessions, and now they are taking part and verbal.”


And we asked those involved what words they would use to describe the programme… Inclusive, Fulfilling, Interactive and Excellent.


George Hounsell, Director of Primary Sport, Health & Community at Marches Academy Trust said:

“The funding has helped Longlands Primary School re-connect with local community organisations, community members and pupils across Market Drayton. Since the Covid pandemic, the community has felt extremely isolated and organisations not engaging or working together. However, this funding has helped us overcome the barrier.”