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Community exercise programmes

Community exercise groups

You may be referred to a community exercise group. These exercise classes are designed to improve muscle strength, balance and co-ordination and are held at a variety of leisure centres and community venues throughout Southwark and Lambeth. Classes hold a maximum of twelve participants and are run by qualified instructors. They run for one hour each week and the programme lasts for nine months. Participants are expected to exercise independently at home twice a week.

Lambeth exercise venues:

  • Elm Court School, SE27
  • Ferndale Sports Centre, SW9
  • Streatham Leisure Centre, SW16
  • West Indian Ex Servicemen & Women Association, SW4

Southwark exercise venues:

  • Darwin Court, Walworth SE17
  • Dulwich Library, Dulwich SE21
  • Peckham Pulse, Peckham SE15

If the community exercise class is appropriate for your needs you will be contacted to discuss which class you would like to attend according to which venue is closest to your home. A letter will then be sent to you confirming acceptance to the class and providing details about the venue, date and time of classes.

What if I have difficulty getting to the class?

There are several transport options. Please click on the link for information about taxi card and dial-a-ride schemes which can make accessing the class easier and improve your independence.

Taxi card:




If it is too difficult to get to the exercise class or you prefer to exercise on your own, you can choose the option of exercising in your own home (details below).

Home exercise

You can choose to participate in an exercise programme at home which has been specifically designed to prevent falls. It consists of a set of leg muscle strengthening exercises, balance retraining exercises and a walking plan. These exercises are individually tailored to you and increase in difficulty during a series of five home visits by a trained instructor.

You will be given a booklet with instructions for each exercise prescribed and ankle cuff weights (starting at 1kg) to help you to carry out your exercises. The exercises take about 30 minutes to complete and you will be expected to exercise three times a week and go for a walk at least twice a week. Between visits, your instructor will phone you to check on your progress.

How can I join an exercise programme?

If you have had a fall or are fearful of falling and would like to participate in an exercise programme, please download the application form and follow the instructions, including choosing whether you would like to join a community exercise class or carry out your exercises at home. If you are referring yourself or being referred by a non-healthcare professional, you will need to ask your GP to countersign your form as we need to be certain that you are medically safe to exercise. You will then need to be assessed by a physiotherapist who will make sure that the exercise group is appropriate for you.

If you require more support to carry out exercises (due to reduced motivation, difficulty performing exercises by yourself or extreme fear of falling), your physiotherapist may refer you to a more appropriate class held at the Falls Clinic or for one-to-one physiotherapy if it suits your needs.

General leisure sector exercise classes for older people

There are many other leisure services available and general exercise classes being run in Lambeth and Southwark. Some of these are generally not specifically designed for improving strength and balance but will keep you fit and active. There are a range of membership options to enable regular exercise at an affordable rate.

Leisure services

For Southwark leisure services visit:


For information on Southwark Silver Active programme of chair-based exercise and dance classes for older adults please visit:www.southwark.gov.uk/getactive or contact Laura Harvey via email at laura.harvey@southwark.gov.uk or phone 020 7525 0884.

For Lambeth leisure services visit:


Walking groups

For information on Southwark healthy walks visit:

www.southwark.gov.uk/getactive or contact Vusi Edeki-Ayuko via email at vusi.edeki-ayuko@southwark.gov.uk or phone 020 7525 0889.

For information on Lambeth healthy walks visit:


Tai Chi

For Tai Chi in Southwark visit:


For Tai Chi in Lambeth contact:

Brixton School of Tai Chi
82 Sudbourne Rd, Brixton, London, SW2 5AH
Telephone: 020 7652 1231