Backing for scheme aimed at keeping Ottery residents active

Ottery St Mary Tour of Britain party. Ref sho 36-16SH 7077 Picture: Simon Horn.

Ottery St Mary Tour of Britain party. Ref sho 36-16SH 7077 Picture: Simon Horn. - Credit: Archant

A new health and wellbeing scheme aimed at ‘keeping Ottery going’ and residents fit and active has received backing from the town council.

Councillor Josefina Gori and Phyllis Baxter, manager of the tourist information centre, have set up the Active Life and Active Mind programme off the back of the town’s Tour of Britain success last September.

Their vision is to engage residents of all ages with a series of workshops, demonstrations and talks organised through businesses, clubs and groups in the town.

The idea was backed by the town council on Monday, where Cllr Gori told colleagues that their support for the programme would show residents they care about improving their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as promoting the town and its businesses.

“The response from traders [during the TOB] was incredible, the response from the public was incredible and the response from volunteers was incredible,” said Cllr Gori.

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“That is how the whole thing started, we could use all the resources of the town to create new things when everything is gloomy.

“It made me realise that Ottery had all the necessary ingredients to develop an active life and an active mind programme if somebody would be willing to co-ordinate the different resources and create a series of events that would keep people busy, active and stimulated.”

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She said the scheme would keep Ottery active while the town’s Neighbourhood Plan and separate regeneration project were being developed.

Cllr Gori told the Herald: “In the meantime, we need to do something to keep the town ticking. The others are doing a very good job for the future; my job is to keep the town ticking now. What do we do with a Neighbourhood Plan or regeneration project if the town dies? We need to keep the town going.”

The programme has received interest from the Friends of Ottery Library, Ottery Help Scheme, Ottery in Bloom, The Station and Christopher Piper Wines.

Cllr Gori added: “Everybody will benefit from the results. Residents will get fitter, businesses might increase their popularity around the area and some residents will find the mental stimulus needed especially around the winter months.”

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