Tai Chi and Qigong activities are known to help reduce stress, increase relaxation, and improve overall health and wellbeing. One of the oldest forms of exercise in Chinese history, Tai Chi and Qigong are one of the most popular exercises practiced by tens of thousands of people in the world today.

Recent funding was provided to build on the success of virtual sessions funded in 2021 by Sport England through the Tackling Inequalities Fund. Developing classes into a blended virtual and face to face approach, these sessions support people with a disability or long-term health condition to get active. Sessions are great for developing balance and strength and include a seated version to be inclusive for those that require additional support.

Faye Yip Tai Chi Friends

Faye Yip, session lead, photographed in centre with Tai Chi session participants.

Ensuring sessions were social was also key, with time after each session included so people could socialise and chat over a cup of green tea. Part of this programme also included supporting those with less confidence to attend sessions through a buddy system, utilising volunteers to ensure that everyone who wanted to access the sessions were supported to do so.  An online group forum was also established to provide a safe space for people to connect, exchange experiences and to share videos of their Tai Chi developments for feedback and advice.

Faye Tai Chi Friends successfully promoted the programme of sessions, working closely with social prescribers, local authorities, and other organisations to signpost people to join their sessions.

A participant said:

“These sessions are the most supportive thing I’ve been a part of. It gets the endorphins flowing and I always leave the sessions with a smile on my face”

Whilst focusing face to face sessions to the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin area, the online sessions provided an opportunity to extend the sessions worldwide. This online offer has also supported those who struggle with transport or are in remote, isolated areas to be able to be active, and to support more people to come together to be active.

Faye Tai Chi class

A Tai Chi session taking place and being shown online to more participants.


Other participants said:

“When I’ve felt myself getting stressed at work, I’ve used what I’ve learnt at these sessions to help.”

“The sessions are so social with a lot of laughing, it really brings a sense of belonging.”


Faye Yip, Session Lead said:

“Gentle exercise like Tai Chi can really improve the quality of one’s life, big changes start from small steps. I hope more people will benefit from Tai Chi and Qigong.”