Engage-ing more with the over 55s

Members of the Woolies group with the trauma teddies and twiddle blankets.
Members of the Woolies group with the trauma teddies and twiddle blankets.

A programme supporting the over 55s is going from strength to strength after so far helping hundreds of people.

February 2017 saw the launch of the engAGE programme at the Linskill Centre, in North Shields, to help people aged 55 and over learn new skills and meet new people.

The three-year project, supported by Kellett funding, has helped more than 300 people so far.

Charlotte Mulvaney, older community project lead, said: “engAGE is a unique user-led programme where the members’ forum identifies the activities they want to experience as a group or places they would like to visit.

“This formula works well as many of the taster sessions, like tai chi and floristry, have proved so popular they have gone on to develop into regular self-funded classes.

“The ethos of engAGE is simply to come along, try an activity and meet new people – if you like it then come back, if not suggest a different activity.”

New additions to the programme have included gardening, tai chi, contemporary dance, floristry and a film club.

The Woolies knitting and crochet club has made trauma teddies for the emergency services, twiddle blankets for the dementia unit at North Tyneside General Hospital, and more than 1,000 woollen poppies for the World War I Commemorative Project.

Following feedback, a tea dance is planned on Saturday, from 1.30pm to 4pm, in conjunction with Whitley Bay Tea Dance Club. Tickets are £6.

The engAGE programme is for all people aged 55 and over from any area in the north east.

Most activities are free, or a small charge is applicable if materials are required.

For more information, or to book onto any of the forthcoming activities, call 0191 257 8000, email charlotte@linskill.org or visit www.linskill.org