Active Ostomates

Our Active Ostomates project helps get people active after stoma surgery.

We deliver a range of free sessions through stoma support groups, and in the community, all aimed at improving the physical and mental well-being of people with a stoma, and supporting them to get their lives back on track as soon as possible.

As part of the project we have also produced a booklet ‘Active ostomates: sport and fitness after stoma surgery’. If you would like us to send you a hardcopy, then email or call our Adminline on 0118 939 1537.

As well as featuring loads of exercises you can practice in the comfort of your own home, the booklet also signposts to loads of sports and other activities that you can enjoy in the community.

The main focus of ‘Active Ostomates’ is our delivery programme which is supported by stoma support groups throughout the country.

Activities on offer include chair yoga, swimming, creative minds arts sessions and archery. Though we are always looking for new ideas and would love to hear from you.

We hope that by allowing ostomates to try these in a supportive environment and with people they are comfortable with, many people will build enough confidence to participate in similar activities in the wider community. However we also acknowledge that some individuals and groups would prefer regular sessions together, and we work with individual groups to offer a programme that bests suits their needs.

Between 2016 and 2019 we have delivered over 150 sessions to around 2500 ostomates, and the project is growing each year.

Want to find out a bit more about the various activities on offer?

Swimming: During our swim sessions we book out the entire pool  and the changing rooms for ostomates and family members, thus guaranteeing privacy and a comfortable & relaxed atmosphere. Here’s some feedback before our Leicester event which took place in June 2019.

Creative Minds Art Sessions: Something to stimulate the mind as well as the body, as well as being a fun activity. We provide all of the art supplies and aprons so there’s nothing to stop people from getting involved. The sessions are delivered by our partners and friends, Creative Minds.  The following blog was written after our initial pilot sessions in Bracknell and Wycombe.

Chair Yoga: No matter how old or young you are, chair yoga can help strengthen your core, strengthen your muscles and is a relaxing activity. Our most popular activity so far with 2019 on course to deliver over 50 sessions from Glasgow down to Devon. In this feature The Hampshire Ostomy Support group talk about their first taste of chair yoga.

Archery: Archery requires precision, control, focus and determination. It’s about mind as well as body.  We provide a variety of bows which means that you don’t need to worry about straining your back or arm when drawing the bowstring. Archery has proved a popular activity for support groups and is something that can be done indoors as well as outside.

We also run an annual campaign to encourage more people to be active. In 2018 it was our 50K Challenge  and in 2019 we launched Stoma 66

Our Team Colostomy UK Rugby League team is part of ‘Active Ostomates’. For more on how they’ve been encouraging people to be active while #TacklingTheStomaStigma have a look here

If you run a support group or are a member of a support group and would like to discuss what we could do with your group then please get in touch with Giovanni our Fundraising and Development Manager. You can e-mail him on or phone him on 0118 939 1537.


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