Working with Age UK to engage the Southeast Asian community in physical activity

Read about our partnership with Age UK and Sporting Equals, as we work together to reach and support a range of community groups in London

Working with Age UK to engage the Southeast Asian community in physical activity

by Jemima Jones

We are working with various organisations across the capital to get people involved in physical activity. Our partnership with Age UK and Sporting Equals has allowed us to reach and support a range of community groups in London. The case study below showcases how the success of a Zumba class led to a long-term partnership.


Age UK Lewisham and Southwark (AUKLS) joined the ClubWorks programme in 2015 with the aim of establishing a regular Zumba class. After setting up the programme, attention turned to what could be done next to get more people active in the community. ClubWorks Officer Tom Browne has continued to work closely with AUKLS and has facilitated a new partnership between Sporting Equals and AUKLS in order to help offer activities to hard-to-reach members of the community. 

With the help of Mark Healy from Sporting Equals and Claire Gaulier from AUKLS, we have partnered with the UK Chinese from Vietnam Friendship Association (UKCVFA), providing them with space to host ballroom dancing on a weekly basis. AUKLS have reported an increase in participants at the ballroom sessions and other physical activity sessions, following an initial open day which was supported by Age UK’s Summer Health Promotion Small Grants Programme. 


chinese dance

Mark Healy from Sporting Equals said: 

“The ClubWorks programme has been a huge success in terms of sports clubs gaining a greater understanding of their local and diverse communities. This valuable intelligence has enabled sport clubs to re-shape their "offer" and in doing so becoming more inclusive. Tom and his colleagues at London Sport have provided a seamless service, from the first referral and introduction, ongoing progression and through to completion. The ClubWorks programme has demonstrated the effective working partnership of London Sport and Sporting Equals and new and innovative projects are soon to follow.”


Mihn, Chairman of the UK Chinese from Vietnam Friendship Association, said:

“We’ve been wanting to do this for some time [regular ballroom dancing], but we have been struggling to get enough people to come to do the activities and afford the venues. Claire [Age UK] and Mark [Sporting Equals] have been really helpful and Mark has continued to get more people coming”.


Claire Gaulier, (previous) Community Partnerships and Participation Manager at AUKLS said: 

“The UKCVFA started to deliver ballroom classes at the Healthy Living Centre on Saturdays. The class is very popular and the current participants are pleased with the space and location. This is the first step of a long term relationship.”


Tom Browne, our ClubWorks Officer said:

"Working with Mark from Sporting Equals to support Age UK's provision for the UK Chinese from Vietnam Friendship Association has been really enjoyable. It's a great example of how partnering with the right organisations, with objectives, can lead to such positive outcomes for all involved." 


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