Front: L-R LifeTime member and volunteer Mary Tyrrell with Gerry Kiddle, director of LifeTime
More than 7,000 activities and events have taken place at our LifeTime centre over the last five years to help improve the lives of older people in Warrington.
Staff, volunteers, health professionals and members of LifeTime, based at The Gateway, held a fifth birthday celebration to commemorate the achievements of the centre.
Over the five years there have been more than 62,000 visits to LifeTime events and activities by people over the age of 50 and today, more than 600 people regularly take part, at least once a month, in one of the 50 activities run each week from Zumba, art and photography, to craft sessions, IT skills, a choir and day trips.
Gerry Kiddle, director of LifeTime, which is run by Warrington Housing Association, said since launching in 2013, LifeTime has become a vital service to improve health and reduce loneliness and isolation – with fun and engaging events and activities.
She added: “There is an image of what people think later life is – but LifeTime aims to change that. We want people to enjoy whatever they want to do at any stage of their life – taking on a new hobby or interest and making friends does not have an age limit.
“Later life does not have to be boring and most importantly – it does not have to be lonely. Each day, a GP sees between 1 and 5 patients because they are lonely, but LifeTime – together with partner organisations in Warrington – can change this with exciting events and activities taking place all week to suit men and women. We are delighted to be celebrating all that LifeTime has achieved on our fifth birthday – we can end loneliness for older people in Warrington.”
LifeTime member Mary Tyrrell started coming to the centre when she moved to Warrington two years ago after her husband sadly passed away.
She said: “I quite often felt very lonely living in a part of the country which was new to me. But I then met a lovely lady on a bus, who introduced me to LifeTime, and it was from then my life took an unexpected turn for the better.
“Since joining in March 2016, I have made many new friends by attending activities, which not only keep me active and fit, but also give me a sense of wellbeing and something worthwhile to look forward to.
“In particular I love to sing, it is a very sociable and fun environment and I come away feeling energised and really happy.
“I now volunteer, and I can honestly say that LifeTime has turned my life around and I would definitely recommend it to anyone finding themselves in a similar situation to mine – there is no need for anyone in Warrington to be lonely.”
LifeTime has 40 regular volunteers that support the running of the centre, helping to set up groups, activities and events.
Two volunteers that have been at LifeTime since it opened are Margaret and Bernard Whitley.
Margaret said: “Over the years, we have seen people grow in confidence – and people who struggled at first to get involved are now running groups – which is amazing!
“The great thing about LifeTime is that you can come in and tell us what you would like to do, and we will try and do it, as it is important to make sure people stay active in retirement. Come and give it a go – everyone is welcome!”
For more information on LifeTime and its regular events and activities go to www.lifetimegateway.org.uk