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Silver Deal Active

The Silver Deal Active programme is a joint partnership between Glasgow Housing Association and Glasgow Life that provides free regular, coach-led physical activity and arts sessions for older adults.

How It Started

In November 2005, in response to feedback from Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) tenants during Silver Deal Open Days, the Silver Deal Active (SDA) Programme was launched.

The SDA programme is a joint partnership between GHA and Glasgow Life that provides free regular, coach-led physical activity and arts sessions in GHA Sheltered Housing Complexes.

The aim of the Silver Deal Active Programme is to get older adults more active more often, whilst providing the opportunity to educate and inform them about the benefits of staying active, how to continue to do so and promoting opportunities for older adults to socialise and meet new friends. GHA and Glasgow Life were both keen to support health improvement and personal confidence in the 60+ age group as improved strength, mobility and social interaction are important factors in allowing older people to live independently for longer.

Partners Involved

The SDA programme is strategically managed by a Steering Group that meets quarterly. Representatives from GHA, Glasgow Life and Glasgow CHP’s attend to revise the previous quarter progress against targets and discuss / plan for the forthcoming quarter. The programme is managed on a daily basis by a small team of Glasgow Life staff.

All SDA partners have agreed to a single monitoring framework that has been developed to ensure it meets the needs of all partners.


The SDA programme is open to all residents of Glasgow aged 60+ years. There are 3 distinct elements to the programme:

1. Easy Exercise Sessions: These sessions are designed and structured to help improve self confidence, balance, strength, posture and also reduce isolation. Sessions are delivered to music from artists including Dean Martin, The Andrew Sisters, Frank Sinatra - this encourages singing and reminising within the sessions.

2. Active Arts Sessions: These sessions are designed and structured to be relaxing and help improve self confidence, co-ordination and reduce isolation.

3. Social Events: By way of reward to participants that regularly attend SDA classes, a series of subsidised and free social events are planned each year. These events provide an opportunity for residents of different areas of Glasgow to meet and socialise as part of an enjoyable programme of outings. These have proved to be very popular amongst participants and help support new friendships, a vital aspect of encouraging older adults to stay active and reduce social isolation.

Over the course of the year, we will provide a range of other physical activity opportunities for SDA participants to take advantage of e.g. Swimming Lessons, Aqua Aerobics, Dance Lessons etc.

Ongoing consultation, focus groups and customer satisfaction surveys ensures that activities offered meet the needs and aspirations of the participants.

In order to promote the SDA programme:
• leaflets and posters have been designed and displayed in appropriate places i.e. Doctors Surgery, Post Office etc;
• SDA staff attend local community events
• News articles have featured within the local press and GHA Key Magazine (delivered to over 60,000 households across Glasgow).

During 2011/12, over 3,300 activity sessions will be delivered in over 45 different venues.

Results and Impact

In November 2005, when SDA was launched, only 5 classes per week were delivered and 12 people were registered. During 2010 / 2011:

• 1,224 Silver Deal Active Members were registered
• 20,200 attendances overall all Silver Deal Active services
• 2,962 Sessions delivered (1,122 within GHA Sheltered Housing Complex’s)
• 740 members self reported being more Physically Active
• 816 members self reported to having improved health / mobility
• Delivered 4 Blocks of Swimming Lesson’s of which 82 members Learned to Swim.

All activities that we deliver are at the request and demand from our members. An example of this was when Glasgow Life staff tried to issue free swim cards to SDA participants - allows anyone aged 60+ to access local swimming pools free of charge. After some discussions, it became apparent that SDA members were not accepting the free swim cards as many of them had never learned to swim and some were afraid of the water.

The SDA Steering Group agreed to provide blocks of swimming lessons to SDA members who were unable to swim or were unconfident in the water. To date 207 members have learned to swim and the majority now regularly use their free swim cards.

Lessons Learned

Silver Deal Active was developed as a way to get older adults more active more often. Monitoring information from Glasgow Life showed that very few regular users of city-wide facilities were aged 60+.

What's next for the project?

Looking ahead to the rest of this year, and the years that lie ahead, our aims and goals are to:
• Market and Promote locally our current programme to encourage more service users to access this free initiative. This has worked well in the past and hopefully will again in the future.

• Host customer focus groups across the city to allow members the opportunity to voice their concerns – positive and/or negative and have a say in how the project develops in relation to activity.

• Outreach work across the city with a possibility of capturing more Male members to the programme.

• Work closely with local health professionals to come along to some of our classes and chat to them on current health issues relevant and beneficial to them.

• Continue to sign post members to other local activities in local community venues or leisure facilities ensuring that our members get the most out of the leisure activities applicable to them across Glasgow.

• Continue to engage and network closely with Glasgow Housing Association and Local CHCP’s to ensure that we are engaging in the areas of concern that have a really poor life expectancy age, poor health status and lifestyle.

• Our team devise and assist lead the Active Ageing Week held in Glasgow each year, which will hopefully encourage not only our members, but the people of Glasgow to come along and participate in the World Ageing Congress of which Glasgow is the host city in 2012. The Active Ageing week is an informative Open Day aimed at all Older Adults in Glasgow. The programme for 2011, being held in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall will host many information stands relevant to the age group, tea dance, health checks, therapeutic sessions, plus lots more.

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Lead Contact Name

David Inglis


Silver Deal Active Manager


Glasgow Life


2nd Floor, 20 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5ES

Phone Number

0141 287 5933

Email Address


2nd Floor 20 Trongate Glasgow G1 5ES

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  • I was taking exercise classes at Budhill until I was told I would have to pay £2.00 for the class while other people got the same class free. I stopped going to the class as I'm sick fed up paying for everything while others get everything free.Why don't they just take a £1.00 from everyone instead of taking money from people who are paying for opticians dentist and council tax and probably have less income than these people who go for free.

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