A pilates instructor put the Petersfield mayor through his paces at an exercise group for people affected by dementia.

Cllr JC Crissey joined Beth Svarovska’s Active Dementia class at Winton House Centre, High Street on Wednesday (March 6). The initiative started a year ago with 90-minute sessions on the first Wednesday of the month.

Beth has been a “dementia friend” for a decade and often runs individual sessions for people with the condition. Her classes help both people with dementia and carers while emphasising movement and socialising through exercise.

Dementia Friendly is one of the mayor’s charities of the year with Cllr Crissey keen to get involved. Around a dozen participants pretended to swim, play rugby, throw balls and danced to Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? “The answer to that question is no,” said Cllr Crissey, who threw himself into the class.

“Taking part in this was a must as my father died of complications after 16 years of having dementia. I wanted to make sure Dementia Friendly and its subsidiaries are supported. I found the session very exhilarating. You can see how these things are so positive for everyone involved.”

Sue Buxey, from Horndean, called her first session “fun” and a “good workout” while her daughter, Pauline Clark, is sure they will return.

She said: “I was searching on the internet for something exactly like this that we could do together, but also to get Mum moving. She used to do a lot of keep fit so it’s been nice to get out and do something like this.”

Sessions begin at 2.30pm with the next meeting on April 3, with a £2.50 donation requested. People with dementia who want to take part are encouraged to bring their carer or loved one.

For more details call Winton House centre on 01730 266046 or email [email protected]