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What are the benefits of community clubs for people in later life?

Brendoncare member exercising with other people in later life exercising in the background
Brendoncare Community clubs helps to alleviate social isolation and loneliness in a positive way. Our community clubs can give people in later life the opportunity to get out and connect with others in their local community.

Brendoncare Community clubs always have a friendly, fun, relaxed and supportive environment where older people can meet other club members, make friends and develop strong peer support networks.

But what other benefits do community clubs have for people in later life?

Learn or try something new

Brendoncare Community clubs offers a variety of activities to members, giving them the opportunities to try something new. From quizzes and bingo, to tai chi and kurling, people in later life can take the time to learn new things and meet other people who are interested in the same activities.

Learning new things and social activities can also help stimulate your brain and help you stay mentally sharp.

Brendoncare community club members playing giant scrabble

Brendoncare Winton Friendship Group recently tried giant scrabble for the first time at their club. Brendoncare community members Marion and Ann were initially unsure about how it was going to work, but said the new activity was ‘brilliant’ and ‘so much fun!’ in the end!

Share your passions

Apart from learning new skills, there is also the opportunity to share your passions with others in the Brendoncare community through volunteering in a community club or online club.

Brendoncare’s online ‘Benvenuti’ Italian Club is hosted on Zoom by Brendoncare volunteer Cinzia, an archaeologist, anthropologist and English teacher, from her home in Rome. She shares her culture with Brendoncare members on a monthly basis.

Cinzia said: “I decided to volunteer for Brendoncare because I wanted to get involved with a charity that had so many people from a generation that has done so much for others, including people abroad. I grew up knowing how the British have helped the Italians and got very moved about this. I feel very happy to be part of the club.

“Benvenuti! means Welcome! in Italian. During the sessions we explore aspects of Italian culture, starting from two of my favourite places, Rome – where I am from, and Florence – where I’ve been working for many years. We look at art, food, music and language, and there is the chance to learn some Italian, from how to introduce yourself, to terms used in food and opera.”

Physical fitness and better eating habits

There are even more benefits to be gained from staying physically active as you get older. Our community clubs offer a range of accessible ways to stay active, such as kurling, seated exercise, tai chi and pilates.

Getting the right nutrition is also crucial at any age. Studies show people in later life often eat more food and healthier options when dining with others.

At Brendoncare, we have lunch clubs where members can enjoy a hot meal with old friends and have the opportunity to meet new ones. We also host a monthly online Cook Along Live, where Chef David Higgins demonstrates simple yet delicious recipes for members to follow along to at home.

Form new friendships

“The staff here made me feel much better. They work with me, they don’t do things for me, which is what I wanted! I want to say a great big thank you because without them, I think I would be in a worse place.”

Jayne, Brendoncare Community Member

Our community clubs allow people in later life to develop strong support networks and meet people they may have never interacted with before.

Research shows that people in later life who have strong friendships benefit strong emotional well-being. They feel that they have people they can rely on and, as a result, they feel happier, more supported and loved, which makes them more resilient.

Jayne, Brendoncare Fleet and Crookham Welcome Group member, said: “I have come to this group for about seven weeks. I moved from Aldershot to Fleet with nowhere to go and started to feel sorry for myself.

“The staff here made me feel much better. They work with me, they don’t do things for me, which is what I wanted! I want to say a great big thank you because without them, I think I would be in a worse place.”

Other ways Brendoncare community clubs help alleviate loneliness

Online clubs are another way Brendoncare members connect with people in their local community from the comfort of their own homes.

Kate, Brendoncare community member, said: “I was quite apprehensive about joining Zoom for the first time but it was surprisingly easy. I received an invitation to a meeting by email and just clicked on the link. I used a laptop but it is equally easy with a desktop PC (which would need a webcam), a tablet such as an iPad or a smart phone.

“Going to a Zoom meeting certainly kept me sane during lockdown, I felt connected to other people and much less lonely and isolated. Even though we can now meet face to face, I still like being able to participate from the comfort of my own home and enjoy the interactive learning process.”

There is also the opportunity to volunteer in our homes or clubs. The Centre for Ageing Better reported on the benefits of making a contribution in later life and found evidence that older people who help others are happier as a result.

Volunteering with Brendoncare can allow people in later life to meet new people, feel connected and valued, and do a fun and meaningful activity.

Interested in joining the Brendoncare community? Book a FREE taster session today to any one of our clubs!

Visit our website to find clubs local to you, or give us a call on 01962 857 099 or email clubs@brendoncare.org.uk and we’ll happily answer any questions you might have.