Mytime Active Stories - Mally and Keith

Getting into the swing of life with Mytime Active

Keith and Mally from Sheldon (pictured with the Midland's Wellbeing Hub - Keith middle at the back and Mally third from right), are both in their seventies and are two of Mytime Active’s biggest advocates. Having self-referred to Mytime Active for a much-needed wellbeing boost back in January, they’ve started four programmes and become fully fledged members. They have recommended the leisure trust to their friends, who have also joined, and are now volunteering at fortnightly coffee mornings to encourage others to attend by sharing their experience of the golf and gym facilities.

“The Mytime Active programmes have given us a whole new lease of life and a sense of purpose. Weve always been interested in having an active and healthy life, and eating well, but as you get older its not always easy to motivate yourself,” says Mally. “We saw an open day advertised for different sessions at Hatchford Brook back in December 2023 and decided to go along to find out more; we’re so pleased we did.

“We spoke to Amy, Mytime Active’s Healthy Lifestyles Programme Manager, who was really enthusiastic and encouraging about getting active and how it could help both our physical and mental wellbeing. Both Keith and I are normally ‘glass half full’ people, but wed been floundering for a while as we'd recently lost a really good friend and had another friend who was receiving end of life care. We had been feeling quite low and needed a new direction and purpose, so thought this is just what we need. 

“As we had played golf a while ago, we decided to join the Golf on Referral group. The sessions were great! It gave Keith and I something positive to do in our retirement. We really enjoyed learning new skills, making new friends and the coaching and facilities at Hatchford Brook are fantastic.

“Amy did some lead some interactive sessions each week to help us think about why we had wanted to join and what we wanted to get from the sessions. Victoria, our golf tutor, was really encouraging and spoke in a language that was easy to understand. The whole team were really good and awakened a more positive attitude in us. We really enjoyed the interaction with other people in our group too and all encouraged each other."

The Golf on Referral programme consists of six sessions with a professional golf instructor and six practice sessions, which can be taken on the driving range, putting and chipping areas. Keith and Mally made friends with two other people on the scheme and met up at the golf range as well as arranging to play nine holes some weeks as part of their practice sessions. Now they’re planning to play golf regularly with them.

Mally explains: “The feeling of belonging to a group and encouraging each other was great. Ironically, one of the people in our group had lived two doors away from us in our last house for more than 20 years! We had never really spent any time together before, but weve really enjoyed meeting up and now class him as a friend.”

After finishing the Golf on Referral programme, Mally and Keith moved into Mytime Active’s Get Active in Golf classes at Hatchford Brook, where Mally says they are also thoroughly enjoying the interaction with other golfers and the welcome they get from everyone there.


Never too late to make a fresh start

In March, Mally and Keith also joined Fresh Start Friendly, a six-week programme designed to boost confidence in the gym, consisting of instructor-led gym sessions and group support classes covering everything from optimising nutrition to building tailored exercise plans to achieve physical activity goals.


Mally explains: “We used to go to the gym at Hatchford Brook over 20 years ago, but we hadnt been since then. I would have been daunted at the thought of walking into the gym again, but these sessions were fabulous. Our group were all similar in age and Sakina, our tutor, was really encouraging and made me believe in myself. I now feel so comfortable going to the gym we’ve joined as members! Our Fresh Start Friendly group now meet and work out together, then go for a cup of tea and chat afterwards, which is great. We have even encouraged some friends to join and theyre now doing the Fresh Start Friendly programme.”


Outside of Mytime Active, Mally and Keith are in a walking group with some of their neighbours, and they’ve now joined Hatchford Brook’s walking group too, doing two walks a week.


“Since meeting Amy, we now go to the gym at least once a week for an hour and have a cuppa afterwards, which is really good for our mental health. We intend to play golf at least once a week and socialise after that too, and have been going to the golf range every week as well. Added to the hour-long walking group at Hatchford Brook and our neighbourhood walking group that we do twice a week, which is about four miles each time, we now consider ourselves reasonably fit for our age! We really appreciate how the Wellbeing Hub and its programmes helped us stop and look at ourselves and get back into a fit and healthy regime.”


Before the couple started their Golf on Referral sessions, they were asked how they were feeling, and had their weight, height, blood pressure and BMI taken. At the end of the sessions everything was recorded again and Mally is happy to report their data has all gone in the right direction. Mally’s life satisfaction score went up by three points out of 10, how happy she felt was boosted by four points out of 10, and she no longer feels anxious. Her blood pressure also went down. Mally lost 2.4kg in weight and 12cm off her waist, whilst Keith lost 2.5 kg in weight and 8cm off his waist.


“Weve improved both physically and mentally!” she says. “We feel physically fitter and enjoy making new friends. Were now looking at joining the stretch class, too. The whole process has given us our mojo back; we look forward to going every week. We always get a warm and friendly welcome, and we now have the confidence to mix with people and join in new activities. Retirement can be great, but it can be lonely. Keith and I had been feeling vulnerable and old, but these sessions have given us a purpose.”

Mytime Active