At noon on Thurs 22nd September, the morning Craft Group had just finished. Earlier there’d been a Tai Chi session. Soon they’ll be holding a discussion event on health and wellbeing.
The Tree of Life Centre provides many vital services in Wythenshawe. These include health and wellbeing sessions, advice and friendship groups, a community café and opportunities for local people to train, gain qualifications and experience through volunteering.
“The [Craft] group has provided friendship among a cross-section age group and gender. It gives us the opportunity to share our knowledge of a number of crafts (knitting, crochet, sewing, needlecrafts, and more). The friendly staff enhance our regular visit. The centre is a valuable bolthole for us to escape for a few hours each week.”
"I find that attending Tai Chi has two major impacts on my wellbeing, Firstly the physical side. It is a tremendous help in strengthening the core making the body stay in balance and be strong, It flexes my knees, wrists and waist and helps them to move much better and be more supple. It also prevents over-stretching and over-reaching which would potentially damage joints and muscles. Secondly, the mental support tai chi gives is really important and the impact on my wellbeing cannot be overstated. It teaches calm, control and balance. It stimulates the brain into achieving wellness by relaxing and excluding all other thoughts whilst doing the exercises. It has a huge positive impact and has been very beneficial over the two years I’ve been attending.”
Tree of Life runs its activities within a wider theme of health and wellbeing and with the overall aim of increasing opportunities and health for the people of Wythenshawe, who are at the heart of everything the centre does. The centre integrates its activities in such a way that the benefit to participants is maximised. For example, someone taking part in the Tai Chi session can also benefit from a back and shoulder massage and a healthy homemade meal in the friendly community café.