Andover Charity Project Selected By The AVIVA Community Fund



Andover based ‘I Can Connect’ project selected by Aviva Community Fund

Local charity Valley Leisure Ltd.’s I Can Connect project is aiming to raise £5000 to help older people and those managing long-term health conditions to stay connected, keep mobile and remain healthy and well in the comfort of their own homes.
‘I Can Connect’ went ‘live’ online on Tuesday 10th November having been selected by the Aviva Community Fund to take part in the latest round of fundraising, powered by online fundraising platform Crowdfunder.
In March 2020, the I Can Therapy Centre team, Ann, Sam, and Jayne, created the idea of I Can Connect in response to the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Initially a weekly newsletter, it featured brain teasers, healthy recipes, mindful quotes and links to online exercises. The concept quickly progressed to include contact phone calls.
Voluntarily made by the team, the phone calls were met with joy by I Can customers who valued being thought of. Feedback revealed they would have liked to see the I Can team themselves delivering ideas to keep active. The team remaining personally connected with people is considered of great importance especially with a second lockdown now in place.
Frances said “I love hearing Jayne’s friendly and enthusiastic voice during the I Can Connect phone calls; I feel supported and part of the I Can family. I am able to share the exercises I have created at home with Jayne and she is able to help me stay motivated and progress.”
After reopening the I Can Therapy Centre service in September, Dr Sam Meredith (PhD), Assessment Practitioner at the Centre in Andover led the team in developing the I Can @ Home exercise book.
Dr Sam said “We’ve noticed significant changes in people’s health and wellbeing since reopening the service in September, people are less mobile, stiffer and achier. I Can Connect is a way in which we can help people move more and feel better at home. We can help increase people’s confidence, help them stay motivated and welcome them as part of the I Can family.”
With a second national lockdown now in place, the I Can Therapy Centre facility is again closed. The impact of this, coupled with the effects of winter mean that staying mobile, motivated and connected with others becomes increasingly challenging. The I Can team know they can help older people and those managing long-term conditions to stay connected, keep mobile and remain healthy and well.
Ann Jones, Centre Manager at I Can Therapy Centre said “We’ve seen first-hand the impact of COVID-19, our customers are not as strong, their mobility has reduced, and they are not as steady on their feet. We know we can help people with I Can Connect, we can improve people’s self-value and their confidence.
The I Can Connect service will have a huge positive impact on the local community enabling people to remain confident and mobile. In the longer-term this will help people remain independent and engaged with their local communities.
The team now need your help to help others, to pledge your support and donation to this amazing community inspired project.
Ann added “By pledging your support to I Can Connect you are making a connection, to an individual and a community.”

For more information and to pledge your support visit the I Can Connect project page – today.


For more information contact Liz Murray, Partnerships Development Manager for Valley Leisure Ltd on 07917 897068 or

Valley Leisure Ltd is a locally based independent charity committed to inspiring people to move more and feel better.
Established over 30 years ago, the charity aims to improve people’s health and wellbeing by providing innovative facilities and services that enable people to move more and feel better.
Valley Leisure operates Riverside Bowl, a ten-pin bowling and glo-golf facility in Andover and I Can Therapy Centre, a unique power assisted exercise facility in Charlton, near Andover

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