Older people in Dorset deemed to be 'inactive' are being targeted in a new campaign backed by more than £650,000 of lottery cash.

Those over 55 who don't exercise enough will be the focus of a mission by the sports partnership Active Dorset.

The organisation has been awarded £659,300 of funding from Sport England to help its aims to encourage people to lead healthier lives through a partnership project called Living Well and Active in Dorset.

It will target people aged 55 to 65 as they reach significant moments in their lives, such as retirement. This age group are at a life stage when they are most likely to be receptive to changing their behaviour and becoming more active when they are in certain situations.

The project will focus on engaging with people who:

are receiving advice from a health professional

are working in the public sector and receiving pre-retirement support

can become active in conjunction with their already active children or grandchildren, for example on the school run

Active Dorset will work with organisations such as clinical commissioning groups, large employers –especially in the public sector – to reach employees nearing

retirement, and every school in the county to discuss how to engage parents to get active with their children.

Martin Kimberley, chief executive at Active Dorset stated: “Active Dorset is delighted to have been selected from over 700 organisations nationally to receive investment from Sport England focussed on supporting 55 to 65-year olds to be more active.

"The project is very much a partnership with Public Health Dorset and the Dorset Clinical Commissioning group central to its overall success but also all local authorities and many other public services.

"Our approach will be to facilitate local people to lead and design the activities making sure we remove barriers, whether perceived or real, and highlight opportunities from the numerous systems and services that Dorset residents interact with.

"We will build on the behaviour change service, Livewell Dorset, supporting this as it enters its next phase. Although we will focus on a particular age range we are ensuring that all our work will provide learning and opportunities for the wider population.”

Sport England has put tackling inactivity at the heart of its strategy Towards An Active Nation, and launched the Active Ageing fund to tackle inactivity in the over 55s.

Research shows:

There are roughly 5.8 million inactive people over 55 in England and the number of inactive people is growing as people are living longer

Inactivity among over 55s is responsible for as many deaths as smoking

Mike Diaper, Executive Director at Sport England said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Active Dorset with National Lottery funding to help get older adults lead happier and healthier lives.”

To find out more about Active Dorset visit www.activedorset.org