“It’s about much more than just sharing a cuppa and a chat -it’s about making people in our community feel less isolated,” said St John’s Day Centre manager, Andrea Smith.
For many years the community church hall of St John’s, based on Nottingham Road, has run a weekly session on Fridays from 10-3pm as a way of helping the elderly meet people, take part in activities and enjoy a lunch provided for them by a group of volunteers.
But it has now expanded adding Tuesday sessions from 2-4pm as a way of encouraging more elderly residents from across the Hucknall community to take part.
“There are many people living alone across the town who may be feeling lonely and isolated,” explains Andrea. “The group is a way of getting people together to have a chat, make friends and be entertained either through our special guests or by taking part in a variety of activities and games.
“For many, especially the housebound, our sessions are a way of breaking up the week and gives them what might be the only opportunity to leave their homes.”
The group is the only one where transport can also be provided with special wheelchair accessible buses or taxis.
There are craft activities including painting and knitting for the members to get involved in, a raffle each week as well as singers and entertainers providing an alternative activity.
“We are hoping to attract many more members by adding another day and reach more people within our community who need and want what we can offer.”
Peggie Spencer is a life-long Hucknall resident and looks forward to the time she spends at the centre.
“I like everything about it as it gives me the chance to get out and see my friends and have a natter,” said Mrs Spencer of Palmar Avenue.
Olive Hadman is 94 years old and is also a regular: “A taxi brings me which is great and I’m delighted it is now being offered twice a week..”
Mary Jewsbury is also 94 and lives on Watnall Road.Her daughter Jean lives in Wiltshire so is pleased that her mother gets to stay gbusy by using what the centre offers.
“Not living locally means these groups are essential in keeping my mum busy and active,” said Mrs Holley. “I know she is out enjoying herself, mixing with friends and being stimulated.”
Mary agrees: “I enjoy doing different things and being busy as I have been busy all my life.”
If you would like to join St John’s Day Centre group for one of the sessions who know someone who could benefit, contact Andrea on 07512765111 or email: email@example.com.