COVID-19 Support: Exercise, engagement and well-being

HCPA's resources for exercise, engagement, and
well-being to support you during COVID-19

The resources below are designed to keep individuals moving and engaged to improve and support both their health and well-being.

Our resources can be used in a variety of settings such as an individual’s own home or a group (maintaining social distancing) in a Care Home.*


Click the buttons below explore our resources:

Social Distancing
If you are a *Residential or Supported Living facility, it is vital that you are implementing social distancing measures where you possibly can, not only for care delivery but also for all activities regarding exercising and well-being.

These measures are being taken to reduce social interaction between people and, thus, reduce the transmission of the Coronavirus. It is strongly advised that government measures are followed as much as possible in your care environment. 

  • If individuals have symptoms, they need to be isolated to their room and isolation care followed. Look at using the same group of staff for all isolation care, where possible
  • For individuals without symptoms, consider how communal areas are used. Look at spacing out the dining area and living room chairs by 2 metres.  Where possible, use different staff from those who are working in isolation areas. 

If you are a Homecare provider, social distancing should follow the same measures as the general public and many clients should be shielding at home.

Mobility and Exercise

Physical activity is strongly associated with decreasing levels of anxiety and stress, which many of us are currently feeling. Without exercise or mobility,  we start to lose strength in our bones and muscle mass due to sedentary behaviour.

Public Health guidelines suggest 150 minutes of exercise per week. We do recognise that it is not easy for all people to achieve this, however, it is still important to set achievable goals, keeping them moving regularly, and practicing healthy habits while staying at home.

Take a look at the resources below to help you achieve this with the people you support.

HCPA Exercises

It is important to not only do ad hoc exercise but to work on exercise as a programme, which supports and extends individuals. It has never been more important to set up a daily routine!

We have put together our own programmes of exercise for you to follow. Each exercise has 10 videos and need to be done in order. Please make sure you have reasonable gaps between sessions depending on your health.

    » Click here to download HCPA’s Exercise Binder “Keeping Active While Staying at Home”

    Chair-Based Exercise Sessions

    Standing and Balance Exercise Sessions

    Exercise Circuits

    Suitable for those living with
    a learning disability.

    We will provide you with all the information you need to support you to work with individuals to maintain and progress their exercises and to keep them moving and healthy while staying at home.

    As well as our new exercise videos, we have a number of other resources to support you with maintaining mobility and strength for the people you support:

    StopFalls App:

    Download HCPA’s Stop Falls application on your phone or tablet

    1. Residential settings can access exercise videos on the app.  You also have all the resources and guidance you need to help reduce falls at your organisation.
    2. People can also use these exercise demonstrations if they are at home and looking to exercise more.
    Click below to download the app for free on any of the below app stores!

    Website Resources 

    The following resources are to help keep the individuals you are supporting, active and engaged. These can be used in various settings and viewed either online or in print.

      Additional Exercise Opportunities

      Later life training & Make Movement YOUR Mission!

      The aim is to concentrate on specific elements of mobility and exercise 3 times a day to inspire people to move regularly.

      All videos are on Youtube for individuals to enjoy. If people are on Facebook, then join the ‘Make Movements Your Mission’  group for live sessions.

      The times of the videos are 8am / Midday / 4pm. The videos will then be uploaded shortly after the live demonstration. Click on the link below to take you there!

      » Make movement your mission – with Later Life  Active Herts

      Active Herts is a project that supports people to become more active. They have put together exercise videos with Andrew, which are suitable for all abilities and includes Chair-Based Exercise, Advanced levels of movements, and stretching videos. Follow along by clicking on the link to the Active Herts Youtube channel here: Active Herts

      Sport England 

      Sport England have put together the ‘Stay in, work out’ project together to keep you moving and inspired while staying at home. They have a variety of links and resources so you can choose the right workout for you. The project includes workouts for older individuals, Pilates, Yoga and mindfulness videos.

      Click on the link below for all things to keep or get active at home:

      » Sport England – Stay in, work out

      Herts Sports partnership

      Suitable for all older adults

      Herts Sports Partnership have added a ‘WorkOut Gently’ webpage for all exercise resources for Older Adults. There are a variety of engaging resources from different organisations to keep individuals mobile while staying inside.

      » Click here for more: WorkOut Gently


      CoachAi with Herts Sports Partnership for staff

      The Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) is committed to helping keep you active and healthy while staying at home. HSP is working with CoachAi who will be your own virtual coach to chat to, keep you motivated, and offer guidance and structure to maintain your exercise routine. It’s free to use and uses Facebook Messenger to chat with you via your smartphone

      » Click this link to get started


      Social distancing can be tough, boring, and frustrating. It is important to maintain healthy patterns of behaviour to stay mentally active. HCPA have gathered several ideas to be used in different settings.

      See below for what will be best suited for you.

      Mental Health Settings

      Residential Settings

      Home Care

      Dementa Settings

      Adult Disability

      HCPA Activity Sheets


      Suitable for all and fantastic for staff to do with those they are looking after

      Please see below for a list of enjoyable and creative activity ideas for absolutely anyone during this time. They will keep you busy and engaged while staying at home:

      • Find out how to make quick and easy bird feeders for your garden or outside space: Bird feeders 
      • Now that we have warmer weather, Spring watch is a great activity to look at flowers. Staff can take pictures and ask those around them what they remind them off, creating meaningful discussions: Spring Watch 
      • Making use of the garden is beneficial to mental health. Watching wildlife is also a great way to enjoy the outdoors and discuss the importance of the ecosystem: Wildlife Watch 
      • Engage with individuals by bird watching, which you can do inside or outside. You could always print off birds and see if they can be spotted! Bird Watching
      • Learn how to press flowers with this activity sheet; this is a great way to keep busy and get creative! Press flowers

      Health Innovation Network


      Suitable for people in Older Adult Mental Health services, Care Homes and any other relevant settings

      Click below for a comprehensive guide to maintaining activity for Older Adults during COVID-19. This is perfect if you are working in Older Adult Mental Health services and Care Homes.

      » Maintaining Activity for Older Adults During COVID-19

      The Royal Occupational Therapists toolkit 


       If you are working in a Care Home or just need some ideas to keep you or someone you are looking after engaged

      The Royal Occupational Therapists have put together a toolkit with many ideas and resources to keep the mind stimulated.

      Click on the link to see the different topics they provide information about, including reminiscence:

      » Royal College of Occupational Therapists

      Reminiscence Activities 


      If you are working in a Care Home or if you are supporting someone with Dementia at home

      Reminiscence activities can bring back happy memories to ignite positive feelings. If you are supporting someone living with Dementia then sharing life experiences, memories, and stories from the past can give those who are living with Dementia confidence and stimulate memories.

      The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has put together a document full of information on reminiscence activities

      » Social care institute for excellence: Reminiscence activities 

      Riccardo Music Workshops


      Virtual entertainment for those in Care Homes or who are self-isolating

      Riccardo is a singer currently doing virtual entertainment on live streams over Facebook. Search for RCJ workshops on Facebook and request your favourite tunes!

      You can even listen to his past performances to keep you entertained while staying at home. Click on this link to view his website:

      » RCJ Music Workshop

      Alzheimer’s Society


      If you are supporting someone living with Dementia

      Think about cooking at home and using technology to be in contact with others. Visit their website for lots of ideas on how to keep those your are supporting engaged:

      » Activity ideas 

      If you are supporting someone living with Dementia and would like to talk to others for advice, join the Alzheimer’s Society forum. This can help people reach out to others going through similar experiences:

      » Alzheimer’s forum

      Live a Little


      Suitable for those living with Learning disabilities and those in care. 

      Live a little are keeping individuals social and active with weekly sessions that include dance classes, gym sessions, cookery classes, and DJ entertainment. #livealittlestayhome.

      Please contact for more information to keep active and social during this time.

      The GR8 Chat and Brew

      Suitable for those living with Learning disabilities. 

      The GR8 Chat & Brew is a way to help people meet online using WhatsApp. This initiative hosts group video calls that will keep people connected.

      The following link will show you how to get started: The Gr8 Chat and brew

      Herts Disability Sports Foundation (HDSF) Virtual Discos

      Suitable for those living with Learning disabilities. 

      HDSF have been putting on virtual discos to get you dancing at home. See their website for more information and how to take part! Book onto online sessions!

      St Albans MENCAP

      Suitable for those living with Learning disabilities. 

      Mencap have started going live with sessions to keep you engaged at home. These sessions cover a range of activities including music, drama, and arts and craft. Follow this link to sign up on their Facebook page: Facebook – Mencap Live sessions

      Electric Umbrella


      Suitable for everyone

      Electric Umbrella is a service user inclusive group who perform their music at various events.

      There are live shows of a Breakfast show, Midday Musical Mashup, and social distancing sing-alongs on Facebook Live and Zoom.

      A live broadcast of bedtime stories is only live on Facebook at 8pm (UK time). All you need to do is have an ipad, laptop, phone or computer and connect to Facebook Live or Zoom.

      Visit the Electric Umbrella Website to find the times of the shows and more information on that they get up to!

      » Electric Umbrella Website

      Click on the below links to be added to the various video sessions

      » Midday Musical Mash-Up 

      » Breakfast Show 

      » Social Distancing Sing-Along 

      Join them daily for huge helpings of fun, music, and madness brought to you by Electric Umbrella. 

      Stay connected throughout the day with programming that will keep everyone entertained and, above all, smiling.

      With their professional music makers and special guest slots, they’ll be bringing you a fully interactive experience that means no one should feel home alone.

      Find them on Zoom & Facebook Live by clicking on show links below.

      » More information below and available at

      The World Health Organisation and Global Citizen


      Suitable for everyone 

      The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Global Citizen have put together a virtual event called ‘Together At Home’. This series aims to help relax you and ease your mind by listening to a whole array of music performances. There is something for everyone; Jazz, Reggae and Pop!

      » Youtube – Together At Home

      National Theatre 


      Suitable for everyone

      The National Theatre is streaming every Thursday evening at 7pm on Youtube showcasing the best of British Theatre. It is free to stream for the first week starting from the 2nd of April. Click on the link to be taken to the Youtube channel:

      » Youtube – National Theatre 

      Dance Syndrome

      Suitable for those living with Learning disabilities. 

      These dance sessions are adapted so everyone can take part at home and it is suitable for everyone with a range of abilities and disabilities. It is a great way to keep active and have a good time from the comfort of your own home. 

      Click on the link to see the schedule for the dance sessions on Youtube and Facebook: Dance Syndrome Schedule

      Oasis 2 Inclusion Academy Cottered


      Oasis 2 Inclusion Academy offers Weekly Topic Sheets for all young adults with a learning and/or physical disability.

      Oasis 2 is a provision for young adults who have learning and/or physical disabilities and is a day care provision based in Cottered Herts.  As part of their weekly plans, they organise a topic for each week, which can be anything to do with life, what is going on in the world, different countries, animals, plants, trees, flowers, birds, etc. 

      Oasis 2’s topics are organised up until the end of the year and they have adapted them to send out to all their students to give them something to focus on while they are having to be at home.

      The topics can be easily adapted to suit the abilities of any adult, so it could be used with any individual at home, within residential units, or in older people’s homes.

      If you or someone you know needs help, please contact with their name/email address and the name of town they live in. Oasis 2 will send out Topic Sheets each week in readiness for the following week. 

      If you have any questions,  they are more than happy to help; call Liz on 07742 969 175


      There is a lot of speculation going around on social media about COVID-19, which can fuel anxiety and worry. Therefore, making sure that you are only looking at the correct, validated sources of information is important.

      Watching the news can be frustrating and upsetting and it may be necessary to take some time away from the TV.

      Below is a list of trusted sites offering advice if you are unsure where to look:

      » and Public Health England  

      » NHS

      If individuals are feeling lonely at this time, please seek help from the charities below who are there for people through this time of uncertainty: 

        1. Age UK has a support line available to you if people are feeling lonely. They are rallying together to give people the support they need through this time and are on the other end of the phone if people need someone to talk to.
          »  Age UK Advice 
      1. Individuals could also contact the Samaritans; they have lots of information on their webpage and an advice line if people have worries, are feeling stressed, or need someone to talk to. 
        » Samaritans Information

      For Everyone

      For You

      Adult Disability

      Nutrition Support

      HCPA mindfulness videos 

      Suitable for everyone 

      HCPA have put together a mindfulness video with Joseph. This is important to reduce levels of stress and take some time out of your day to concentrate on yourself.

      » Tai Chi

      » Meditation for Stress and Anxiety

      Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS)

      Nutrition support for those who you are caring for 

      HILS have provided lots of nutrition support for people. Their information includes eating well with Dementia, food allergies, and problems with swallowing and chewing. Click the link to see these resources:

      » Nutrition resources

      Well-being resources for those with a Learning Disability

      Suitable for all ages

      An easy read document that explains what COVID-19 is, a daily timetable, and activity ideas for those living with a learning disability:  

      » What is happening during COVID-19

      » Visual timetable 

      To help your conversation around COVID-19, the following resource can help explain the COVID-19 situation using short sentences and illustrating keywords by using images. 

      »  Chat about COVID 

      Use this Yes-No board with those who you are caring for to communicate effectively by using this board

      »  Yes-No Communication board 

      There is a variety of resources available that is suitable for all ages and families.  You can view activities, top tips to manage mental health, and download the ‘100 things to do inside’ resource for free:


      Herts Care Line

      If citizens have any concerns during this time

      Herts Care Line has a 24/7 control room as they continue to be there for the community. Operators can offer advice and arrange medical help if you have any concerns. 

      If people are awaiting on an installation, then they have engineers adhering to the strict guidelines who will also provide them with the pertinent information provided before, during and after your installation appointment:

      » Herts Care Line 

      Watford MENCAP

      For those supporting someone with a learning disability 

      Watford Mencap are still offering their services to the people they support. Their opening hours have increased from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on weekends. Their geographic coverage has increased so that they can help throughout the whole of Hertfordshire. 

      Their advice team is open 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on weekends. They can help with a variety of topics including applying and resolving benefit enquiries, housing problems, and signposting you to information and help. 

      » Click here for more information Watford Mencap 

      Every mind matters (NHS)

      For people, if they need guidance on how to keep on top of mental health. 

      Every mind matters have been put together by the NHS to encourage people to look after their mental health. This resource will provide people with information if they are worried about the Coronavirus. 

      If people do feel like they need further support, then use the urgent support link at the bottom of the every mind matters page. 

      » NHS – Every mind matters

      For people, if they are experiencing low mood, stress, and anxiety

      The mental health charity Mind has put together a guide on how to look after your well-being. This information can help people if they are feeling worried or anxious, if they are staying at home, or if people are self-isolating during COVID-19. 

      Additionally, you can check out the NHS’s yoga video to help people keep moving, relax, and tackle any feelings of stress: 

      » Mind – information and support during COVID-19

      » NHS – yoga

      Mind also has references to mindfulness websites to encourage people to relax and reduce any feelings of stress and anxiety:

      » Waking



      Live mindfulness sessions at 8.30am and 4.30pm every Monday to Friday led by a qualified mindfulness instructor and experienced mental health worker.

      The living well courses cover: 

      • Feeling well to reduce feelings of depression and sadness
      • Building courage to overcome anxiety
      • Staying well at work, which is specially designed for people who have not worked from home before 
      • Learning to relax, manage stress, and better sleep workshops  

      For more information about these courses designed for the whole Social Care workforce, click here

      All courses are led by a qualified and experienced mental health practitioner. The sessions are interactive and numbers are limited to 16 per session so that everyone can participate.

      The World Health Organisation (WHO)

      For the general population including care workers, team leaders, managers and if you are looking after adults or children

      The World Health Organiszation have put together a coping with stress document to help you if you are feeling sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during this time. It is important to manage your mental health to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

      » Coping with stress – The World Health Organization

      » Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak

      Learning Disabilities and Autism: NHS England and NHS Improvement

      The NHS foundation trust has put together many resources to help with feelings of anxiety. Please see below for resources about managing anxiety, breathing, and mindfulness. 

      » Anxiety and the body 

      » Five things to do when feeling anxious 

      » Five seconds of breathing exercise

      » Balloon breathing exercise 

      » Breathing exercise using your imagination 

      » Explaining mindfulness

      » My relaxing place exercise 

      COVID-19 Resilience Hub

      From MindEd for Care Staff

      The Resilience Hub has been created to help front line staff manage their own mental health and well-being. They have the best advice and tips from experts. The hub has been created on behalf of Health Education England in partnership with NHS England-Improvement.

      They have provided resources for:

      • Helping each other
      • Tips for Manager and Team Leaders
      • Stress and Fear
      • Trauma and Stress
      • End of life and Bereavement.
      • Further resources for Managers.

      » Click here to find out more: