County Durham Club for the Elderly gets financial windfall

A CLUB that organizes weekly activities to improve the mental and physical well-being of older people and prevent them from isolating themselves, celebrates a financial windfall.

The SPA Tuesday Club, based at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Brandon, was able to plan a full year of activities after securing over £6,000 from housing.

The County Durham-based housing association has awarded the club £6,250 under its high-income grant scheme.

Anne-Marie Parkin, community investment coordinator at Bel Logement, with Peter Hall, who helps organize the SPA Tuesday Club at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Brandon

The club offers weekly activities for seniors such as crafts, games and light exercise, as well as refreshments and a monthly lunch.

Members have a range of mobility needs and difficulties, meaning they need help getting around and are at risk of becoming isolated and depressed.

The club arranges transport and offers support for members to attend, giving them the opportunity to socialize, chat and improve their well-being and self-esteem.

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When Covid restrictions meant the group could not hold in person, organizers kept in touch with members once a week.

Some had said they felt depressed and isolated again, but at the start of the year many felt ready to return and organizers wanted face-to-face interactions to be up and running.

Peter Hall, who helps organize the club, said the volunteers were delighted with the grant.

He said: “It’s quite expensive to run the club because we send transport to collect people and bring them in.

“It allowed us to develop an annual program because we didn’t have to worry about where the funds were coming from.”

Anne-Marie Parkin, Community Investment Coordinator at Belie Housing, said: “Funding for this group is really important as it is a way of involving our clients in the activities.

“The activities support physical and mental well-being and the amazing volunteers who organize them, along with transportation and food, help people reunite with friends, which is invaluable.”

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