HUNDREDS of older people in Kilburn will be offered opportunities to get active, boost their health and make new friends, thanks to new funding for a community charity.
Abbey Community Centre, in Belsize Road, will run arts, sport and fitness and health and wellbeing activities, as well as offering volunteering opportunities.
The activities will be aimed at older people in and around Kilburn at risk of social isolation, age-related impairment, disability or financial disadvantage.
They are being made possible thanks to a £250,000 grant over five years from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.
Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“Abbey Community Centre does a fantastic job of providing a really varied mix of activities for older people in their area, allowing them to get out, get active and meet new people.
“This funding will provide them with the security of knowing they can continue to play this vital role, which is needed more than ever, with older people in particular affected by isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”
The funding will also enable the production of ‘Up Your Street’, a community newsletter and health and wellbeing directory, while members also have the chance to sit on a steering group to have their say on what activities are offered.
During the pandemic, the centre has been offering online and telephone support to its members, who it says see improvements in their physical and mental health as a result of taking part in activities.
Paul Fordham, Community Projects Development Manager at Abbey Community Centre, said:
“Coming to the centre helps to give people a sense of purpose, to make new friends and try new activities. Rather than being stuck at home, they know they can come here, get a warm welcome and feel part of a community.
“The activities we do such as fitness and art sessions, as well as just being around other people, really benefits our members’ mental and physical health, and we see a real difference in people after they start coming here.”
Older people in and around Kilburn who are interested in attending the centre are asked to contact Simone Carneiro, Community Activities Organiser, by calling 020 7624 8378 or 07447 932 564, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
More information is on the Abbey Community Centre website at www.abbeycc-kilburn.org.uk or blog at http://communitytimecamden.wordpress.com
The City of London Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of over £25 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk
Case studies: ‘My inner child was able to enjoy herself’
Sally Bowman went on an Abbey Community Centre-organised trip to Hampton Court to learn about the history of Henry VIII’s former home.
“I had the most entertaining time, with wonderful company, a great location and a caring leader. I got home feeling blessed and am grateful for all my friends at the Abbey. They are full of fun and my inner child was able to enjoy herself, something I could never do when I was young.”
Barbara Wilson attends the centre’s ‘Colouring Calm’ arts and crafts sessions, which include aspects of mindfulness and meditation.
“I found the course very relaxing, and the atmosphere was very soothing. It makes you concentrate on the colours that you are going to use to colour the design. I thought that the herbal tea was a nice touch, and everyone seems to agree that we should continue with the course.”