The Royal Voluntary Service has proved age is no barrier to trying something new.
The First Time for Everything programme was introduced at the Chesham House Centre in Lancing last year and the free sessions have proved so popular, funding has been extended for a second year.
The charity was delighted to welcome 135 older people in 2017 to the monthly social activities, funded by Prudential.
Annick Lynn, service manager at Chesham House, said: “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 planning some great new activities.
“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 the Chesham House Centre can always be sure of a warm welcome from our staff and wonderful volunteers.”
Research by Royal Voluntary Service found two thirds of people aged 60 and over were keen to try something new but three in ten were disappointed at the lack of activities available for older people in their area.
The First Time for Everything programme was therefore introduced across the country to give older people an opportunity to try something new for free.
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 Chesham House Centre in 2018.”
Sessions delivered by staff and volunteers in Lancing have so far included laughter yoga and mah jong.
There was a musical memories meeting yesterday and activities to follow this year include shuffleboard and a pub quiz, with fish and chips.
Jean Atkinson, who visits Chesham House daily, said: “You’ll always find a friend at Chesham House.”
Call 01903 854640, email Coastalwestsussexhub@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/get-help for more information.