Friends break down 
the barriers for lonely

Enjoying the Young at Heart taster day are (front) Pat Watson (96), Betty Wood, Kate Wells and Dorothy Wilde. Back row, organisers Dee Wood and Sue Noble with Vera Clark (centre). ANL-151112-144633001

Enjoying the Young at Heart taster day are (front) Pat Watson (96), Betty Wood, Kate Wells and Dorothy Wilde. Back row, organisers Dee Wood and Sue Noble with Vera Clark (centre). ANL-151112-144633001

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Christmas has come early in Skegness for the town’s senior residents who prefer to have fun rather than face another year with too much time alone in their homes.

A new Young At Heart group held a taster day on Wednesday to launch the start of daily activity sessions in the New Year.

Organisers Dee Wood and Sue Noble hope the venue at the Lancaster Lounge in Barrett Court will become a community hub for people who feel lonely and isolated.

Friends Dee and Sue are thrilled with the response to the taster day and plan to break down the barriers of what is normally expected at day centres.

Dee said: “We have both worked at Skegness Day Centre which does a marvellous job.

“But we want to offer something different, which is why we don’t have an age limit. A lot of people feel lonely and isolated and we want to bring them together to socialise.”

The thumbs-up to their new venture was given after presenting a business plan to Waterloo Housing, which owns Barrett Court in Lydhurst Avenue.

Dee said: “We prepared a business plan but thought we stood no hope. There were three weeks of agony and then we got the call to say there was a contract waiting for us to sign. Waterloo Housing’s support has been fantastic.”

Sue said: “Our taster day has gone really well but I have to admit I had a sleepless night before it. We just want to get lonely people out of their homes and we have lots of ideas to make it fun.”

Among the activities lined up are Monday Makeovers, computer courses, online penpal link-ups with similar groups, barbecues, pub lunches, theme days such as a Royal Ascot day at the races, theatre trips and tea dances.

On the taster day, the youngest guest was 50 and the oldest was 96-year-old Pat Watson.

Pat, who lives in Skegness, popped along to see what was on offer. She said: “They are trying their best to get people interested. I’ve really enjoyed coming.

“I enjoy talking to people. When you have been here as long as me you understand a lot of things and sometimes it’s good to talk to someone who can sympathise.

”It makes a nice break for people to get out of their normal four walls. It’s something for us to look forward to.”

Clients can book whole or parts of days on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Full days cost £23 and include a two-course lunch in the café. But clients can pay an hourly rate and go for part of a day. Barrett Court is on a bus route but a local taxi firm is helping with transport.

For more information call 01754 763037 or 07840347138.