Club's hope to tackle loneliness and bring people together in South Tyneside
A a new club is aiming to help in the battle against loneliness for South Tyneside's over 50s.
Age Concern Tyneside South has joined forces with Boldon Community Centre to host the weekly get-togethers.
The club, held on Fridays, from noon until 2pm aims to drive out loneliness and help the borough’s older generation feel less isolated.
The move comes as part of the government’s agenda on tackling loneliness and social isolation following the Jo Cox Commission into the issue.
According to statistics as part of the report and recommendations, nationally more than nine million people always or often feel lonely while around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.
Jeanette Watson who runs the weekly sessions at the centre in New Road, Boldon, alongside Age Concern said: “We have only been running the club for three weeks and already we have around 12 to 13 people who attend each week, with about eight of them who have been to every one so far - so hopefully that means we are doing something right.
“It was Age Concern who approached the centre to see if we would be interested in running the club and of course we said yes.
“We have a lot of people who attend who are on their own but we also have one couple who come - for some of them it’s a chance to get out the house and to make new friends.”
The weekly sessions provide a place for people, over 50, to come together to enjoy a meal and take part in a range of activities from cards, dominoes, bingo or to sit and watch a film together.
Jeanette Dunn, supervisor at Age Concern said: “We used to run a group each week and when funding stopped a lot of those attending were interested in carrying it on.
“The group targeted those who were isolated, and it gave people something to look forward to.
“We contacted Boldon Community Centre and they were happy to hold the weekly club there.
“It gets people out of the house and making new friends - hopefully more and more people will come along .”
The club is open to anyone over the age of 50.
Sessions cost £10 and includes a two-course meal , unlimited teas and coffees and activities which change week on week.
For information and to book a place call Jeanette at Age Concern 0191 456 6903.