Oomph! aims to improve the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of older adults through a range of specially developed exercise classes.
"Oomph! exists to improve the quality of life of older people across the UK", according to founder and CEO Ben Allen.Founded in 2011, Oomph!'s activity coordinators work in care homes across the UK to deliver exercise and activity classes specially designed for older people.
They aim to enhance the mental stimulation, physical ability and social interactions of the care home residents."Oomph! stands for Our Organization Makes People Happy and that's what we try to do every day"
Ben and his team reach more than half a million older people each year in the 1,200 care homes they work in. With staff noting significant wellbeing improvement in residents taking part in Oomph!'s classes.
"I've been a resident for two and a half years", says John, a resident at Belong Crewe care home, "my time has been enhanced by going to the various classes and particularly the Oomph! class, and we have a lot of laughs and a lot of fun"
Oomph!'s current success was not an easy road according to Ben - "I went from a relatively good salary, to no salary at all. I didn't pay myself for two years".
It was a drive to see Oomph! succeed and improve the lives of care home residents across the UK that got Ben through the tough times.Ben's background is in fitness. Previously a lecturer at the European Institute of Fitness he had begun researching the care sector. He was shocked at the lack of activity-based entertainment in care homes.
staff trained by Oomph!
participants a year take part in Oomph!'s classes
participants report improvement in mental stimulation
Inspired to change this and create care homes full of engaging and exciting activity, he moved back in with his parents and started Oomph!
To begin with he needed to understand more about the care industry.“I went door-to-door speaking to care home managers asking them what they thought, through that we developed our programme and our service."
In 2013, Ben successfully entered UnLtd's Big Venture Challenge - a 12-month support programme designed to help social ventures scale their impact.
"Oomph! would still be a small business in Scarborough if it wasn't for UnLtd. It was through UnLtd I was able to figure out what was the scalable business opportunity, through their network I was able to meet the right people to grow the business."
It's not been easy, but Ben was driven to succeed and help people. "When you start a business you sacrifice a lot. But I wanted to succeed, I wanted to do this. And I did everything I could to get this business off the ground"
I joined UnLtd in 2016 after previously working in China and for a UK government backed scheme to help people start their own business. I’m focussed on spreading the achievements of social entrepreneurs and sharing UnLtd’s stories. I want to see pragmatic responses to challenges facing society.
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