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Age Is No Barrier To Trying Something New
Proving that age is no barrier to trying something for the first time, the Royal Voluntary Service attracted 95 older people to Batley Old People’s Centre in Kirklees in 2017 to join a new programme of social activities funded by Prudential.

Staying active and social have been proven to be highly beneficial to quality of life in older age, and in 2017, Royal Voluntary Service partnered with Prudential to launch First Time for Everything, a programme designed to give older people an opportunity to try something new for free in their local community. Across the country, the programme has seen nearly 1,400 older people attending an activity for the first time.

From tai chi to crafts, older people coming along to the Batley Old People’s Centre have been trying a different First Time for Everything activity every month. The programme of social activities, which is delivered by Royal Voluntary Service staff and volunteers, has proved so popular that Prudential is extending its funding for a second year. Activities for 2018 include yoga and singing.

Amanda Stirling, Community Buildings Development Worker for the Royal Voluntary Service in Kirklees, says: “The First Time for Everything events have been a real hit with older people living locally and we’ve had some great feedback. Keeping active and social is hugely important to our well-being as we age, and we’re delighted so many new members have been coming along to try something new. We’re extremely grateful to Prudential for continuing its generous support for the programme and are already planning some great new activities for 2018. As well as offering interesting social activities to try, we also offer something to eat and drink, good company and information about local services available to older people. Visitors to Batley Old People’s Centre can always be sure of a warm welcome from our staff and wonderful volunteers.”

John McLoughlin, age 66, from Batley, has attended the Prudential First Time for Everything activities at Batley Old People’s Centre and is now a volunteer helping out at them too. He says: “I’ve discovered hidden talents. Coming here gives me the chance to do something new and that I otherwise would never dream of."

Eleanor Turner, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Prudential, said: “The First Time for Everything programme has had a significant impact in the communities where it’s already run. We want to help create experiences that enhance the lives of older people and at the same time help address the epidemic of loneliness in the UK, particularly amongst the elderly. We’re therefore delighted to be supporting Royal Voluntary Service for a second year. We hope that even more older people will enjoy trying First Time for Everything activities at the Batley Old People’s Centre in 2018.”

For more information about First Time for Everything events and other social activities for older people in Kirklees, and to find out more about local volunteering opportunities with Royal Voluntary Service, call 01924 446100, email: westyorkshirehub@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/get-help

Age Is No Barrier To Trying Something New, 13th February 2018, 9:26 AM