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Elderly lady having soft archery lesson

Soft archery session brings joy to care home resident

August 8th 2021
Vicky Sartain

When Jean Sykes, 91, was asked by one of her carers what she wished she had done in her lifetime but never achieved, she replied ‘I always wished I’d had a go at archery’.

Luckily for Jean, Amber Strike – Activities Coordinator at Sycamore Park Care Home in Huddersfield – knew just the person to contact!

Colin Fairburn of Hotshot Archery said: “I have been delivering soft archery into residential care homes in the Yorkshire region for over four years. I knew Amber from a previous care home I had worked with, so when she contacted me and told me about Jean I was more than happy to help.”

A session of soft archery was arranged with the home and, along with Jean, other enthusiastic residents took part. The session was a huge success with everyone having lots of fun and achieving a lot more than they thought possible. Even some of the management and admin staff had a go.

On Jean’s efforts, Colin said: “Jean was very attentive and enthusiastic. She took instruction very well and tried really hard to do what was asked of her, within her obvious limitations of age and mobility. It never ceases to amaze me how the elderly take to archery. Not only does it give them a sense of fun but it also helps with their cognitive skills, limb movement and above all provides them with a huge sense of achievement.”

Elderly lady with archery book

Jean Sykes was gifted with archery goodies following her soft archery experience

After the session, Amber Strike commented: “It really made Jean’s day and the residents really loved it too. At the dinner table later in the day they were all talking about archery and showing everybody their moves! Jean said that she had a really fun day.”

At the end of the session, Jean was presented with a medal, tote bag and other archery-related gifts from Archery GB in recognition of her efforts.

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