A NEW programme of free social activities is being rolled out across North Wales to help enrich the lives of older people and provide a welcome boost to their health and well-being.

Run by national charity Re-engage, the hour-long sessions include gentle activities such as chair yoga, tai chi or skittles, followed by time for a relaxing cup of tea and light refreshments. 

The activity groups, funded by the Welsh government, take place in local community spaces on a fortnightly or monthly basis for those 75 and over. They allow older people to participate at their own pace in a safe and supportive environment.

Re-engage is committed to ending loneliness in older people and believes no-one is too old to make friends or enjoy social interaction. Re-engage Project Manager, Gavin Stewart, says: “Our groups are fun, friendly, completely free and provide an opportunity to stay physically active.

“Social isolation and loneliness can take a tremendous toll on both mental and physical health, so we hope our groups will give older people something to look forward to and an opportunity to connect with others.”

In order to roll out more groups, and offer the service to those most in need, the charity is looking for volunteers to spare a little time to help lonely older people feel connected with the outside world.

Re-engage urgently needs volunteer drivers to take activity guests to and from sessions and help with activities and serving refreshments. The charity is also looking for group coordinators to help set up and co-ordinate sessions and volunteer activity leads to run local activity groups.

Mr Stewart added: “Volunteering for Re-engage can be an incredibly rewarding experience and volunteers receive support and training to help them get the most out of their role.”

For 79-year-old John, who lost his wife two years ago, finding out there was a local group he could attend was a lifeline. He said: “I don’t get many chances to meet people face-to-face so this is a real highlight for me. Just getting to leave the house and have something to do is fantastic.”

To sign up for classes or to volunteer call 0800 716543 or 02922 801 802 or email Gavin.stewart@reengage.org.uk.