Tai Chi South West was set up in Torridge as part of the nationally run Tai Chi for Health organisation. These were initially set up in Holsworthy for the over 50s with a separate class supporting Parkinson sufferers. The free classes offer gentle physical exercise and stretching with the aim of helping to improve circulation, balance, alignment and restore energy.
Since their inception the classes have grown hugely in popularity and are now getting referrals from local doctors for people with mental health, mobility and other problems. The organisation relies entirely on donations and the goodwill of their many volunteers, supporters and even businesses donating space and equipment.
The scope of the project recently extended into Bideford where with the support of established businesses, like the G4 Gym where the classes are held, the charity has been able to set up new classes serving the town and surrounding area. The downside of all of this was increased pressure on the charity to fund additional sound systems, chairs for people to rest on, and even a computer system to mange the schedules and growing data base of people attending. This prompted an application to Torridge Councils Community Grant Fund with a successful application for £1,200 to support its growth.
Councillor David Brenton – Ward Member for Bideford South said:
“There is clearly a growing demand for these classes which contribute a great deal to the well being of many of our residents. I was very happy to support this grant application which is another great example of the community grant money being redistributed across the district to support worthy causes. I hope the charity continues to flourish with the new equipment and is able to support many more people into better healthier living.”