Age UK have announced their new celebrity ambassador is Strictly Come Dancing legend, Len Goodman. The 74-year-old famous judge has joined the charity to support its work in helping older people get the most out of later life. Dancer Len recently visited Age UK Lewisham & Southwark’s dance class where he took to the floor with the local members.
Speaking about his decision to become an Age UK ambassador, Len said: “The work Age UK does is so important to so many older people and I am honoured to be a part of that.
“I had a great time chatting with the dance class and enjoyed getting to see how much of an impact dancing can have. There are so many Age UK classes and clubs out there which people can join to help them get out and about and keep active. Some of the stories I heard on my visit were incredibly moving and it’s vital that this kind of work continues.”
Age UK encourages older people to keep active and to take up physical activities such as dance to improve their health. Age UK’s Wellbeing in Later Life Index shows that one in ten of the over 65s in the UK are regularly dancing and attending dance classes. In addition to the physical benefits, the Charity’s Wellbeing Index found that participating in ‘creative activities’ of all kinds, including dancing, was the single most effective thing any older person could do to improve their sense of wellbeing.
These types of dance classes also help to tackle the serious issue of loneliness amongst older people. Age UK’s research found that 1.2 million older people in England are chronically lonely. Through a range of national and local services including activities such as dance, coffee mornings, IT classes, and more tailored schemes including face-to-face and telephone befriending, Age UK and its network of local partners are working hard to combat the issue.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “We are honoured to have Len on board as an Age UK ambassador. The support he will bring to the Charity will be invaluable.
“It’s never too late to be more active, and seeing Len at a local Age UK dance class will hopefully inspire lots of people to try and keep active as they get older - he has a huge following and we can’t wait to see his many fans get behind the work he does for Age UK.”
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. Age UK Lewisham & Southwark’s dance class is just one of many services offered to older people up and down the country. The Age UK network provides information, advice, practical services and campaigns on the issues that matter to people in later life.
- Find out how you can support Age UK at www.ageuk.org.uk or call 0800 169 8787.