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UK 9-year-old livestreams exercise class for 150 care homes around the world

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A British schoolgirl fitness instructor ran a live video online exercise class for OAPs  and was joined by more than 150 care homes - from as far away as America and Australia.

Heather Bryson, nine, wanted to "bring smiles" to care home residents with an online exercise class.

She promoted her class and then streamed her chair-based exercises to 167 care homes around the world on Friday (11/06)

The schoolgirl, from Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, was inspired by Captain Tom Moore, and was astonished hundreds of strangers took part.

A video shows residents from the dementia unit at Parksprings Care Home, in Motherwell, Scotland, completing the class.

Heather said: "I wanted to do a challenge inspired by Captain Tom because he was a hero and he really spread the message of hope.

"I wanted to do the same, and also encourage older people to become more fit and active.

"My aim was to make people smile and I think I did that.

"Lots of people were joining in with me and care homes emailed us afterwards to show photos of their residents smiling.

"At the end of the day I was really happy, but it was hard work and I was happy to have a rest!"

Heather's grandmother, 94, died in November last year from Covid-19, prompting her to do her care home based challenge.

After seeking advice online and from NHS physiotherapists, she replicated Joe Wickes' online exercise classes - but made them suitable for older people.

She aimed to reach 100 care homes - but ended up smashing that after around 167 took part on Friday, streamed on YouTube.

Residents Ella, May, Frances, Mary, Jean and Myra - aged 74 to 88, at Parksprings Care Home in Motherwell, Scotland, took part.

Rosie Brennan, lead activity co-ordinator at the home, said: "Being dementia patients, you never completely know how they will respond, but our ladies were superstars and really threw themselves into it.

"Once they realised what was happening, you couldn't have stopped them if you tried. Heather's positivity and energy rubbed off on us all.

"Heather definitely achieved her goal. The smiles from the residents after were some of the biggest I've ever seen, and it was such a positive atmosphere.

"Heather is amazing and she is such an inspiration to us all. We can't thank her enough.

"The residents have already been asking when the next class will be!"

Parents Deborah and Gary Bryson, both 49, say they are "incredibly proud" of their daughter.

Deborah, a dementia link worker, said: "The challenge went extremely well. Heather was amazing, and she wasn't even nervous!

"Being a confident, cheeky, red-headed nine-year-old, she engaged with the older generation in a way an adult couldn't. She could give Joe Wickes a run for his money!"

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