Young at Heart is a new initiative from One Voice.
Young at Heart is a network of lunch clubs for older people; the clubs are established by local churches meet one lunchtime per month with the aim of providing an opportunity for the guests to socialise, particularly those who live alone and are isolated.
The clubs are run in pubs with space to accommodate fairly large groups and the ability to provide hot meals at reasonable prices.
Typically during the first hour guests eat and do a quiz. This is followed by live entertainment and further discussion. The time is structured in such a way that everyone has a chance to get to know each other and has a focus for stimulating conversation.
Entertainments are as varied as possible to cater for all tastes and have included a Country & Western singer, Old Time Music Hall, a male Octet, a magician, and children from local primary schools singing Christmas Carols. Guests are encouraged to join in.
Representatives of the Police Service, the Fire Service, Age UK, York Against Cancer, and OCAY have also visited the clubs, talking to guests and sharing information with them.
Most of our guests live alone although local residential homes have brought residents on several occasions. The feedback that we regularly get from guests is that they are lonely and that they look forward to coming to YAH every month. The club has given local residents an opportunity to get out of the house, to make new friends, to have some fun, to exercise their brains and to have a hot, nutritious, affordable meal.
Keep your eyes out for a Young at Heart group starting near you, or ask your church leader about partnering with One Voice to start one up!