FitLine is a free, volunteer-led telephone-based mentoring and support service which seeks to encourage people over the age of 50 to become physically active and maintain physical activity as part of their daily lives. It is an evidence-informed initiative and was initially piloted in Drogheda in 2009. The evaluation of the pilot found that participation increased both rates and knowledge of physical activity among mentors and participants and recommended that the project be extended beyond Drogheda.
Since then, FitLine has been tried and tested in several locations across Ireland and in 2020, following a successful application to Sport Ireland and Healthy Ireland under the Keep Well Campaign, Age & Opportunity secured €360,000 to expand the FitLine service across the country. This includes the development of 20 FitLine hubs, delivered by 120 volunteer mentors who make contact with up to 1,000 participants twice a month.
The FitLine initiative engaged 246 participants and recruited 64 mentors across 25 counties during the time of this evaluation from January 2021 to March 2022. This document sets out an independent and objective evaluation of Age & Opportunity’s FitLine initiative, carried out by S3 Solutions during the period November 2020 and February 2022.