Giving lonely older people a reason to enjoy life

Members of Brendoncare sharing a giggle
Members of Brendoncare sharing a giggle

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A CHARITY is tackling loneliness and isolation in older people by providing them with a reason to get out and about.

Brendoncare Foundation runs clubs through volunteers across the south for older people to meet others and develop new friendships through fun activities.

In Gosport the charity runs 14 clubs at its centre in The Anchorage, Willis Road, ranging from a singing group, social clubs and regular film nights, as well as groups offering physical exercise and activities such as Tai Chi and yoga.

Edwin Ingleton, Brendoncare’s head of club services, explained why the clubs are so important for members.

‘In a growing number of cases, older people may not have friends or family around them and a social club is a great way to break the cycle of loneliness that can be so debilitating to their wellbeing.

‘A study in the United States found that loneliness can be more harmful to health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

‘Loneliness also increases the risk of cognitive decline.’

Brendoncare also runs 13 clubs at weekends across Hampshire and Dorset, including a dance club which meets every Saturday afternoon in Gosport.

On the first Sunday morning of each month there is an indoor boot sale where people can go along and snap up a bargain.

The charity is heavily reliant on donations to continue running this vital service.

Mr Ingleton said he would be delighted to hear from individuals or companies interested in supporting a local club or getting involved in the various fundraising initiatives it runs.

All the clubs are run by volunteers and there are a number of volunteer roles on offer across the club network.

These include running activities, helping with refreshments and acting as treasurer.

If you are able to spare a few hours each week, Brendoncare Clubs would love to hear from you.

Anyone interested in finding out more can call Brendoncare’s office on 01962 857099.

Alternatively, e-mail clubhampshire@brendoncare.org.uk.