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Helping older people to enjoy fun activities in a relaxed and friendly setting is the aim of a new group which has launched in the East Riding to promote independence.
A new group, called 'Tomorrow's Youth', has been set up in Beverley to offer those aged 55 and over weekly activity sessions which are designed to increase physical activity, create new friendships and lift spirits.
Participants have fired crossbows, got arty, and taken part in a hockey assault course to name but a few of the fun activities that have been made available following consultation with everyone taking part.
Of those who have joined the group, which meets at Molescroft Pavilion on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm, 94 per cent reported feeling that their overall health had improved, and 89 per cent said they felt less lonely and more relaxed.
And it has proved so successful, with 20 people regularly attending each week, the group are now well on the way to becoming self sufficient.
Members of the Molescroft Parish Council have been trained up as group leaders and the group are now in the process of applying for funding from the council's Connecting Communities grant fund.
They hope to use the money to continue running the sessions and for the purchase of new equipment for boccia, curling, table tennis as well as new art materials.
Mike Jenkinson, 80, said: "Despite having mobility and heart problems, these sessions have made a massive difference to how I feel and my movement has certainly improved. "We always have a good laugh, play games and get to know each other. It's so easy as you get older to stay at home, but now I have a purpose to come out and I think Tomorrow's Youth has really brought people together. "I have made new friends and look forward to coming along every week."
Brian Stow, 82, said the group had helped him re-discover his love of table tennis. "Everyone is so friendly, it's such a nice place to come and I really look forward to it."I used to play table tennis when I was younger and now have the opportunity to play again and thoroughly enjoy myself."
The sessions form part of an activity programme called 'Mature Mayhem' which is delivered locally by the East Riding Sport, Play and Arts Service and commissioned by adult services as part of their 'Let's Get Moving' scheme.
Councillor Richard Harrap, portfolio holder for adult and carer services, said: "Mature Mayhem is just one of a number of programmes being offered to East Riding residents to help them stay independent, mobile, active and socially engaged."This is especially important when you live in what is a predominately rural area where it can be all too easy to become isolated."This successful group, Tomorrow's Youth, is a good example of just how much the programme can benefit communities and I would encourage anyone wanting to discover how this could benefit them to give it a go."
For further information about Mature Mayhem contact Jessica Holliday on 07966997127 or group leaders Mac Fleming on 01482 869631 or Jackie Heffer on 07715962108.
Alternatively everyone is invited to turn up on the day to give it a go.
For more details about the Connecting Communities Grant Fund or to find out more about other groups and activities which are happening in your area visit the website www.connecttosupport.org/eastriding email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01482 392234/ 392226.