More than 54,568 people over 65 live alone in Lincolnshire so there’s nothing more important than having somewhere social to go for a good cuppa and a chinwag.
From indoor bowls, Tai Chi and Spanish lessons, to IT, the lunch club or even the Wii league, Park Street Activity Day Centre has plenty to get stuck in to.
Edna Staniland (75) from Birchwood has been going line dancing at the centre, run by Age UK Lincoln, every Tuesday since the first class in 1996.
“I love it. It’s just a friendly group, I’ve made such good such pals. You come and get a big cuddle off your friends and forget about your aches and pains,” she said.
For 91 year old Alan Dawson from Doddington Road the centre provided him with the perfect opportunity.
“When my wife died I really wanted to take up ballroom dancing but they won’t let you in without a partner. Then I saw a poster for the line dancing class here. I’ve been coming three times a week for the last six years,” he said.
Meanwhile Brenda Walsh (58) from Brant Road has learnt how to contact her nephew in Australia. She’s been attending a computer course at the centre for a year, mostly just for company, and can now keep in touch via email and Skype.
Michael White (70) from Washingborough and Terry Cannon (70) from Bardney were both in the Green Jackets Brigade from 1960 – 1983. Reunited when they recognised each other’s badges on Remembrance Sunday, they now meet every Tuesday at the centre.
“If we walked through the door and this table wasn’t available I don’t know what we’d do,” said Michael.
“We’ve been coming here for years, we love it. It gets you out of bed. We have some food and a good chat. We’ve got to keep ourselves cheerful.”
The social aspects of the centre are vital, however it also provides other essential services.
Information and Advice Manager Lynn Minton said 1,400 people in the Lincoln area were given advice in the last quarter on anything from benefits to council tax.
“We helped a man recently and upped his income by £840 a month,” she said. “It was just the little things he was due added together and the knock on effect of that was life-changing for him.”