Young at Heart Club
We are a small not-for-profit club providing day services for older lonely people in Mid Devon and the Wellington District, three days a week. Our motto is "Fun Guaranteed!"
The Young at Heart Club was established in 2014 with the aim to relieve the feeling of rural isolation and loneliness for vulnerable older people living in Mid Devon and the Wellington District and benefit their Carers and family members by providing them with valuable respite. Isolation felt by the over 60’s is magnified by additional challenges of rural living like a lack of transport or social activities. The Young at Heart Club provides a solution to loneliness by helping members interact with people of a similar age and increase their self-confidence and self-esteem. An opportunity to integrate with the rest of the community is stimulated by making new friends and enjoying activities in a local community building, supported by volunteers.
Nationally, nearly half (49 %) of all people aged 75 and over, live alone (ONS, General Lifestyle Survey 2010, table 3.3 (GB),2012). Loneliness manifests itself in many ways and from our experience 30% of our club members have experienced loneliness through bereavement and they miss the companionship of others and a chance to reminisce. We have been contacted by older people who have recently moved into the area who feel isolated and are in need of meeting other members of the community and to make new friends.
Our club provide somewhere for older people, of every background, to socialise with people of the same age group in safe, comfortable surroundings. Transport is provided by enthusiastic volunteer drivers, this means their day starts from the minute they are collected from home. Members enjoy a nutritious two course lunch. They are entertained with activities throughout the day which are fun and help improve their mental health and general wellbeing.
We attract a variety of older people, some of which have early on set Dementia and others who are fighting depression following a recent bereavement but predominantly they are lonely. Unfortunately, over recent years there has been a reduction in social facilities due to local government cut backs. Our small not-for-profit club help to plug the gap by providing two locations for the most vulnerable members of our society to meet 3 days a week. We are fortunate to have qualified volunteers to assist and ensure that the 40 attendees a week are well looked after and entertained throughout the day.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
We are seeking funding to help us provide new activities for our 40 club members to enjoy for years to come.
We are a ‘Modern club for older people’. Our activities are stimulating, such as Kurling, Bowls, Darts, Skittles, Quizzes, Crafts, Cinema Experience, etc., as such the demand for our service is increasing at a rapid rate.
With your help we can continue to expand our range of activities by introducing guest speakers and purchasing new games to ensure mental stimulation and exercise for those most vulnerable in our community. We believe that 70 is the new 50 and the members certainly appreciate that! Unlike other day services we DO NOT play Bingo! There is not enough time to include this and we have evidence that older people want more! Members join us to have fun and need to be treated as mature adults
who want to enjoy more variety in later life, after all "Fun doesn't age!"
"The Young at Heart Club was founded by my wife (Diana) and myself in 2014 with the intention of providing a unique Day Service for the over 60's. We are a "Modern Club for older people" and very proud to be able to witness the positive effect we have made to so many lonely and isolated people in our community. Lloyd Yorke (Chairman)"