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Healthy Active Ageing

A range of activities designed to support people to become or remain active as they age.

Hands holding plant on allotments

Activities and sessions available:

We are working hard to add more activities very soon. If you would like to suggest an activity please get in touch:

Growing Active

Join our free allotment group, Growing Active, for people who would like to become or remain active as they age.

When: Wednesdays, 10.00am to 12.00pm

The group will run on an open-ended basis, with the group members deciding when they would like breaks such as over winter. The group will start on 1 March 2023.

Location: Haxby Road Allotments

York St John University Sports Park (directions and parking information can be found below)

The Growing Active group will be guided by Naomi, a Gardner in our award-winning Grounds team at the University.

We aim to make Growing Active a relaxed, informal environment where people can engage with the allotment and spend time with others.

Naomi says:

"Hi, I’m Naomi, a new gardener with the Grounds Team here at York St John University. I have a huge passion for edible growing, especially permaculture methods and for perennial and unusual varieties of edible plants.

I’m really excited to be leading the allotment sessions from March and looking forward to seeing what we can grow this year.

We will be aiming to grow in an ecologically sensitive way, encouraging soil health and biodiversity and hopefully growing for bags of flavour!

Allotments are so well loved and for good reason too. They are a fantastic place for us to engage with plants and our food, and also with our wider community. I look forward meeting all the new growers soon and pouring over our seed catalogues together.”

There are washing facilities and toilets in the York St John University Sports Park building available for use.

If you wish to have a coffee afterwards the café located in the Sports Park building across the road from the allotments may be open for this (opening times vary over the university holidays). We are working on making hot drinks possible at the allotment.

What to bring with you

  • A drink
  • Anything you need to ensure your comfort or safety such as medication or a snack
  • Depending on the weather you may need a rain jacket, sunscreen, sun hat, or a jumper (or maybe all of them given the English weather!). If the weather is particularly bad we may have to cancel the session and we will let you know.
  • Suitable footwear (boots are required if digging)
  • Gardening gloves if you’d like to use your own (we will have some available).

How to join

To join the group or to discuss it further please call 01904 876 804.

When you join we will request some contact information and ask whether you have any medical conditions we need to be aware of. These are not intrusive questions, and the information will be used to help us try to ensure your comfort, safety and enjoyment whilst on the allotment.

We appreciate that there may be weeks when you can’t be present and we would be grateful, when possible, if members of the group could let us know they are unable to attend by phoning 01904 876 804 or emailing

Directions and Parking

The allotments are located across the road from our York St John University Sports Park (YO31 8TA). Directions can be accessed on the York St John University Sports Park page.

Parking is available in the Sports Park car park only. To reach the allotments please cross the road near the entrance to the Sports Park car park and Foss Park Hospital and go through the gate. The allotments are located at the end of the lane on the left-hand side. Please take care when crossing the road as vehicles can travel fast on that stretch of road.

If you are using public transport, the First York number 1 bus route stops nearby. If you are traveling from the city centre the stop is next to the allotments, opposite Foss Park Hospital. If you are traveling from New Earswick direction towards the city centre, the stop is located between the car park entrances for the Sports Park and Foss Park hospital. Both stops are called Mille Crux.

Medical Conditions

If you have any medical conditions which may impact on your participation or safety we would be grateful if you could let us know.

Having a medical condition will not usually exclude you from participating. Details of medical conditions declared will be shared amongst the Growing Active staff so we can do our best to ensure your safety and comfort. They will not be shared with anyone else and any recorded details will be stored securely.

Female Fitness

Join our free exercise group, Female Fitness, for people who would like to focus on resistance training.

Female Fitness also aims to increase confidence with exercise and exercise environments, and support women with issues associated with ageing such as menopause or decreased bone density.

Each participant also receives a free, 2 month gym membership for the YSJActive gym.

Please note that there are only 6 places available.

When: Thursdays, 11.00am to 12.00pm

The group will start on 11 January 2024 and will finish on 29 February 2024.

Location: YSJActive Gym. Located in the Foss Building on the Lord Mayor's Walk campus.

The Female Fitness group will be guided by Sarah Hawley.

Understanding Resistance Training

Resistance training, often referred to as weight lifting, involves lifting, pushing, or pulling against resistance. This resistance can come from various sources, including your body weight or specific exercise equipment like dumbbells. This form of training offers a broad spectrum of advantages specifically beneficial for women. These benefits include:

  • Weight Management: Resistance training aids in burning body fat, promoting a healthier body composition.
  • Improved Bone Health: The impact and increased muscular strength from resistance training help preserve and potentially increase bone mass, reducing the risk of fractures as we age.
  • Stronger Connective Tissue: This reduces the likelihood of joint injuries.
  • Improved Flexibility, Balance, and Body Awareness: These improvements contribute to retaining independence and confidently performing daily activities.
  • Better Sleep and Increased Energy: Resistance training can positively impact sleep quality and energy levels.
  • Prevention or Improvement of Health Conditions: It can assist in managing conditions like diabetes, depression, heart disease, and obesity.
  • Enhanced Body Image and Self-Esteem: Resistance training often leads to improved body image and higher self-esteem.
  • Improved Wellbeing: This includes lower stress levels, better mood, and increased confidence, contributing to overall wellbeing.

What to wear

Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for exercise as well as supportive, well fitting footwear such as trainers. Please bring water and anything else you need for your safety and comfort, such as medication.

How to sign up

To sign up, please visit the Female Fitness sign up page.


For more information, please contact Sarah Hawley by emailing or by calling 01904 876804.

Directions and Parking

The Foss Building is located on the Lord Mayor’s Walk site. For more information on how to find the YSJActive Gym, please visit our campus map.

Parking is available on site for blue badge holders. Alternatively, the Union Terrace pay and display area, located opposite the University, offers parking options, or you may opt for the convenience of using public transportation.