Excitement was in the air on Monday 8th of August as the Chimneys Activity, Lunch & Social Club eagerly anticipated the arrival of Arthur, a regular at the club celebrating his 103rd birthday. Arthur has been attending the club, which runs Mondays 10:30 – 13:30, for over 16 years, and everyone was keen to celebrate this special day with him. We learnt from Wendy, Arthur’s daughter, that Arthur began attending whilst caring for his wife as the club provided him with a useful break, and has been going ever since.
Amidst the festivities we were able to speak to Betty and Beryl, who told us just how enjoyable they find the Lunch clubs. Beryl finds it “really lovely here”, and spoke of all the different activities that Age UK allows them to engage with, which include treasure hunts, musical entertainment and, of course, plenty of bingo! We were really able to get a sense that those coming along really look forward to spending time at the club every week, and enjoy the social interaction that it brings.
Praise for the club didn’t stop there, with Gabriel Petrosino, a volunteer, describing the importance of the “1 to 1 contact” that the clubs provide and how it serves as a way for the older people to get out and meet one another.
The way that the volunteers and staff took the time and effort to organise this special event for Arthur demonstrates how personal, caring and engaging these lunch clubs can be, and showed why they can be such a good activity for older people to attend. Another aspect of this club to note was its friendly atmosphere, which is a key reason why it is so popular amongst its service users and volunteers.
Ken Camichel, The Operations Manager for Age UK Clubs informed us that our volunteers are vital to the operation of our clubs and we are keen to attract new volunteers who can come and help deliver this valuable service
Age UK Reading expect to see numbers rise at the 7 clubs which run weekly in the Reading area. These include an Afternoon Tea, Activity and Social club on Monday afternoons, Social and Activity Lunch clubs which run during the week and an Activity and Social Lunch club which runs on Saturdays which can give respite to Careers on a Saturday. Age UK Reading point out that it may be possible to arrange transport to allow older people to attend these clubs.
If you are interested in becoming a member of one of the clubs, would like to volunteer at a club, know someone who may be interested, or just want some more information, please call Sarah on: 0118 9502480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.