Older people in Stroud tried yoga for the first time at a free Royal Voluntary Service event last week.

The free yoga class was led by local yoga teacher Kelly-Anne Gill from Spiral Spirit Yoga at St Joseph’s Hall in Stonehouse.

The session was part of First Time for Everything, a programme designed by Royal Voluntary Service and Prudential to give older people in Gloucestershire an opportunity to try something new for free in their local community.

Research by Royal Voluntary Service earlier this year found that two thirds of people aged 60 and over wanted to try a new activity, but three in ten felt there were not enough local opportunities to do so.

Keen to address this, the charity joined forces with Prudential to launch the First Time for Everything programme.

Abigail James, activity co-ordinator for the Royal Voluntary Service in Gloucestershire, said: “It was wonderful to see so many local people enjoying our First Time for Everything yoga class.

“Thanks to funding from Prudential, we have lots more exciting events coming up and hope that even more older people, their carers and families will come along.”

“It’s never too late to try something for the first time.”

Mattie Ross, a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer who attended the yoga class said:

“Us oldies need something like this in the area, it was such fun and I hope we do it again.

“Our yoga instructor talked us through our exercises and stretches - some of us used mats whilst a couple of us sat and followed the stretches using our chairs.

“Kelly-Anne was just wonderful and afterwards Abbie created fresh pressed juices with fruit and vegetables - delicious!”

Eleanor Turner, head of corporate responsibility at Prudential, said: “The

First Time for Everything programme has had a significant impact in the communities where it’s already run.

“We want to help create experiences that enhance the lives of older people and at the same time help address the epidemic of loneliness in the UK, particularly amongst the elderly.

“We’re therefore delighted to be supporting Royal Voluntary Service.

“We hope that even more older people will enjoy trying First Time for Everything activities in Gloucestershire in 2018.”

The next Prudential First Time for Everything event in Gloucestershire is a Silver Ballet class with Keziah Dance Theatre at Roots Coffee & Community in Gloucester on Monday, May 21 at 10am.