With 40,000 ‘older’ people in Warrington, LifeTime has been playing a vital role in combating loneliness since we opened our doors in 2013.
This week is Loneliness Awareness Week (June 17-23rd) and Age UK has warned the blight of loneliness in the over 50s is set to soar to over 2 million across the nation in less than a decade.
Loneliness may be the result of divorce, bereavement, empty nest syndrome, retirement, ill health, or financial problems and it can have a devastating effect on health and wellbeing.
It has been claimed loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive ability, high blood pressure, stress and mental health problems.
LifeTime officer Andrea Rees said: “We have something for everyone. By joining LifeTime, people have the opportunity to age well and build resilience through keeping physically active, learning new skills, giving back and most importantly enjoying life by connecting with others. If people are nervous about joining, we can do a little handholding until they get back into the swing of things, socially.”
Member Brian Mahoney, 72, said: “If it wasn’t for LifeTime I would be sat at home on my own watching television. There is always someone to talk to in the centre. As I say to everyone I meet, there is more people at LifeTime than in my house!”
And it isn’t just members that benefit from the company here.
One of our volunteers June Murphy, 67, said: “Before I came to LifeTime felt like I had faded into the background. LifeTime has given me purpose, a reason to get out of bed again. I feel valued and like me again.”
Every Warrington resident over the age of 50 can join free of charge. Our membership has risen quickly, surpassing all expectations, perhaps illustrating the increase in loneliness recognised by Age UK’s No One Should Have No One campaign, the work of the Jo Cox Commission and the Government’s appointment of a Minister for Loneliness.
Our centre, within The Gateway, on Sankey Street is open Monday to Friday for casual drop-ins, information, computer suite and a wide range of affordable activities including a book group, choir, aerobics, walking football, activities for people living with dementia, writers’ group, camera club, quiz, crafts, or just a good old coffee and chat.
It has been such as success activities have now branched out into other locations across the town and trips and social events are also extremely popular with members too.
You can join LifeTime by completing the online form, writing to LifeTime Freepost WA1235, The Gateway, 89 Sankey Street, Warrington WA1 1SR or calling us on 01925 246824. Alternatively, pop into the LifeTime centre.
Pictured is LifeTime member Brian Mahoney enjoying time with friends at the LifeTime games group.