In December 2018 Just Bowl received 18 months funding from Sport England to deliver a pilot project in an agreed number of residential care homes and secondly to centres providing services for those recovering from cancer.
Staff received training and equipment and then delivered 12 weekly Just Bowl sessions of a minimum of 30 minutes each (most were for 1 hour)
The aim of the project was to evidence the impact of those taking part in the activity and specifically to focus on the improvement of the physical, mental and social wellbeing of participants.
The research element was led by Sheffield Hallam University and the final evaluation report identified that:
• Participants found the activity enjoyable and fun
• It provided care home residents with a sense of accomplishment
• It encouraged participants to interact with new people and make friends
• It gave participants confidence and showed them they could achieve more
• Just Bowl improved mobility and balance for care home residents
• It encouraged bending and stretching without the use of a walking aid
• It provided an opportunity to break up time spent sedentary
• It was shown to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of those taking part
Initially residents were apprehensive about their ability to participate. However, participating in the sessions showed how residents were able to do more than they realised, and this subsequently improved their confidence.
The Just Bowl sessions created a social atmosphere in the care homes and provided residents with an opportunity to interact.
Carers said that the Just Bowl sessions increased resident’s confidence and their functional ability.
The sessions were of light intensity which was agreeable with the population and in line with the Chief Medical Officer physical activity guidelines.