Free fitness classes for seniors at Miranda and Menai to end and $10 fee will be imposed at Engadine

Free fitness classes for seniors with health problems at Miranda and Menai will be scrapped because federal government funding has run out.

Sessions at Engadine will continue, but with a $10 charge, which may stop many pensioners.

The changes will take place at the end of this month.

The Active Living program is designed for people with stable chronic lung conditions and stable heart failure, who have completed rehabilitation.

The aim is to keep these people well, socially connected and out of hospital.

The program was established at a trial at four locations in Sutherland Shire two years ago, but government funding stops at the end of this month.

It is run by Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network, a not for profit, regionally based organisation, established by the federal government.

A spokeswoman said two classes would continue at Cronulla because the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club had stepped in with financial support.

"Engadine will continue but under a private user pay model, which is expected to be about $10 per class," she said.

"Miranda and Menai will cease as current numbers are not viable to support a user pay model."

The two sessions held each week in the Engadine Community Centre, have 40 to 50 participants.

David Wells, who attends the program, said, "All the doctors in the area refer patients as they believe it is a great way for them to stay fit and socially connect with like minded others".

"Many are pensioners, who are doing it tough financially and hardly leave their homes because they can't afford to do so," he said.

"These classes are giving them that opportunity of staying fit and assisting their mental health by gathering socially as well.

"We have an amazing instructor Melanie Katzos who is an accredited exercise physiologist, who encourages everyone, and whose wage is already covered."

Nathalie Hansen, the general manager of Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network, said Active Living was established in 2017 as a one-year pilot program, and was extended for a year.

"It was designed to see whether these general exercise classes would make a difference," she said.

"The results have been really good in both health and social terms.

"But, it was always a trial and we need to work with the local council and health district in trying to find some alternative funding."