Weekend clubs: because loneliness doesn’t simply stop on a Friday evening

Brendoncare is joining forces with Hampshire County Council’s Library Service to tackle loneliness among older people at the weekend, by launching new clubs for older people across the county.

The number of older people living in the UK is rising rapidly, and the UK has been described as woefully underprepared for the needs of the ageing population, particularly in recognising the serious implications of loneliness and isolation.

 

Winchester-based Brendoncare has around 80 friendship and well-being clubs across Hampshire and Dorset, offering older people a relaxed environment in which they can meet new friends, take part in a variety of activities and enjoy a chat over a cup of tea and biscuits. Many members see their Brendoncare club meeting as a real highlight of the week.

 

However, Brendoncare recognises that loneliness doesn’t simply stop on a Friday evening, and the charity’s big goal for 2015 is to open a series of clubs meeting at weekends, offering a range of activities in all sorts of venues. Brendoncare’s Head of Clubs Service Mr. Edwin Ingleton says: “Sadly, for many older people, the weekend is often the loneliest time of the week. In a growing number of cases, older people may not have friends or family around them, and a social club is the only way to break the cycle of loneliness that can be so debilitating to their well-being.”

 

Thanks to a Community Support Grant from Hampshire County Council, Saturday Clubs are already underway in Fareham, Farnborough and Winchester, and membership is growing with every week. Hampshire County Council’s Library Service has been very supportive in the initial weeks since the clubs’ launch, and membership is growing with every week.

 

Winchester

 

The Winchester Saturday Club meets at the Discovery Centre on Jewry Street, and offers activities such as indoor kurling, games, quizzes and guest speakers.

Some of the members already attend Brendoncare clubs in Weeke or Badger Farm during the week, and say the new Saturday club has given them a new reason to get out of the house at the weekend, as well as the chance to meet new people.

 

Lorna, who is 75, told us : “I got an invitation to Brendoncare’s club after I’d had a heart attack and a stroke, and lost most of my sight. Through the club, I’ve been able to meet many more people, and have really enjoyed all of the meetings so far.”

 

Josephine, 91, saw the club advertised at the Discovery Centre, and says: “The sessions are very friendly, helpful and fun. I really enjoy it, and the club leader Andy is great at getting everyone to join in and enjoy themselves.”

 

The club runs every Saturday from 2pm to 4pm, and sessions cost just £2.50. New members are always welcome, as well as people interested in helping as volunteers.

 

 

Fareham

 

The Fareham Saturday club meets at Fareham Library every week, and offers activities such as indoor kurling, games, quizzes and guest speakers. Club member Dee told us: “I think this Saturday club is a brilliant idea, because when you’re on your own, the weekend can be long and lonely. This club gives you a chance to meet other people, and we get to have a chat over a cup of tea with biscuits or cake.”

 

The club runs every Saturday from 2pm to 4pm, and sessions cost just £2.50. New faces are always welcome, and the charity would also welcome enquiries from people interested in volunteering at the club, with a variety of opportunities for people to help.

 

 

Farnborough

 

The Farnborough Saturday club meets in the Age Concern Room at Farnborough Community Centre every week, and on the 4th Saturday of every month it meets at Farnborough Library. It offers activities such as indoor kurling, games, quizzes and guest speakers, all followed by refreshments and a chat.

 

There are three further Brendoncare clubs meeting throughout the week in Farnborough, each offering something slightly different but all guaranteeing fun, friendship and a warm welcome.

 

The Saturday Club runs every week from 2pm to 4pm, and sessions cost just £2.50. New members are always welcome, as well as people interested in helping as volunteers.

 

Anyone wishing to find out more about Brendoncare’s clubs should contact the charity’s Club Support team on 01962 857099, or visit the website http://www.brendoncare.org.uk.

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