THE start of the 2019-2020 season was an important time for our over 60s projects. Our original session which started at the stadium in November 2009 celebrated its 10th birthday with some of the members attending for the entire time and celebrating some important milestones with us.
The success of Extra time has allowed us to work in partnership with local charity Hyde Housing to set up two additional sessions in Brent in 2017.
All three sessions, which are now supported by a grant from the City Bridge Trust and match funding by Hyde Housing were half way into their delivery year which had seen them take part in activities such as seated aerobics, dance, boccia and both groups enjoyed a fun Christmas party.
In addition to this, plans were just being put in to place for our annual day trips, which usually takes place in June and allows the participants to have a trip away from the busy life in London, however in mid-March face to face delivery abruptly stopped as lockdown plans was announced by the government.
Since this time, we have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our participants are still looked after, even though our delivery has had to be adjusted. This has resulted in us making weekly welfare calls to the members of the groups – around 80 calls.
Our support has ranged from keeping in touch, a friendly call each week, to referring some members of the group to mutual aid / local support groups for help with shopping, picking up medicines, befriending and helping with tech support.
Cynthia, one of our Extra Time participants told www.qpr.co.uk: “The Group gives me a reason to get out of bed and socialise with my friends, I enjoy the exercises.
However, since the virus I have missed the social gatherings and care and advice from the coordinators, the virus has caused stress, but I have the comfort to know every week receive a phone call to see if I am coping and if there is anything I need and I am very grateful for that.
“The support right through the virus has been essential. I really miss QPR, the interaction and the exercise.
“I am looking forward to getting back to normal. I appreciate the thought that somebody cares and am heartened to know I am wanted.”
Fiona Hodgson Business Development Manager expressed the importance of the group, by telling www.qpr.co.uk: “Keeping in touch with the participants from our over 60s projects have been a true club partnership with staff from the Trust, Club and Academy all making the weekly calls.
“For some members, the group is a vital social lifeline and they are missing it greatly, we hope that we will be able to start up the sessions as soon as we can with their safety as our top priority.”
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