Charity starting a weekend club for city’s older people

SOCIABLE The new Brendoncare club will provide a range of services, including fitness groups
SOCIABLE The new Brendoncare club will provide a range of services, including fitness groups
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Hampshire-based charity Brendoncare has opened a new weekend activities club for older people in Copnor.

The Saturday morning club aims to provide older people, who would otherwise be lonely, with a place to have fun while they meet new friends and enjoy each other’s company.

The club runs every Saturday from 11am to 1pm at the Stacey Centre on Walsall Road and offers activities for its attendees for a £2.50 cost.

There are many different activities for the participants that not only include games, arts and crafts and fitness groups but also lunch clubs and even occasional dating groups.

Eighty-year-old Anne Bourne, who attends another one of the local clubs, has lived on her own since her husband died 21 years ago.

She said: ‘This club helps me get up in the mornings. I’d stay indoors if I didn’t have this. It’s very lonely on your own otherwise.

‘The exercise is fun too – I can’t do ‘keep fit’ any more, so it’s good to still be able to do something active.’

A group of four Portsmouth University students are helping Brendoncare with the marketing for the Saturday morning club as part of a university project.

The students help promote the club by distributing leaflets, arranging to put up posters around the community and making announcements on local radio stations.

One of the students, Holly Allen, said: ‘The opportunity to be involved in a project like this has been great and it has shown us how important it is to help older people feel like they belong in the community.’

The opening of this latest group brings the number of Brendoncare clubs in Hampshire and Dorset to 85 and Brendoncare recently received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to open more clubs at weekends in both counties.

The new Copnor club is open to men and women, and Brendoncare welcomes new faces to come along.

The charity provides some hardship funds for older people who cannot afford to get to the clubs.