As residents get older it is increasingly likely that they may feel lonely, isolated or unhappy. Wokingham Borough Council wants all residents to enjoy their retirement and to continue to feel part of their community, which is why the council has launched a new campaign focused at these specific residents. ‘Ageing Actively’ aims to reach out to older members of the community and provide opportunities for them to meet new people, learn new skills and keep active.
Willing volunteers have been trained as peer mentors to provide support and guidance for older people on a 1-to-1 basis and help find activities or groups that complement their interests and requirements.
Members of the volunteer service, adult social care and peer mentors were all in attendance and chatting with residents at the ‘Ageing Actively’ launch event on Monday 1 July at Polehampton Court, Twyford, where a number of seated classes designed to increase strength and mobility were held.
Cllr Parry Batth, Executive Member for Environment and Leisure Services, who was in attendance to help launch the council’s new initiative, said “Life events such as retirement, moving away from family and health issues can dramatically impact some of our residents’ ability to stay connected and engaged with other people.
“Loneliness is growing, with 1.2million chronically lonely older people in the UK,
and we want to help reduce its existence in our older population. We want to encourage all over 60s within the borough to reach out to us, meet new people and have fun.”
The council’s sport and leisure team has a full and varied programme of activities that take place throughout the week at various selected locations across the borough including movement to music, Tai Chi, and chair based yoga as well as short mat bowls and sporting memories sessions.
Further information about the classes and the peer mentoring service is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (0118) 974 3728 where you can also request an application form to join the Actively Ageing initiative.