Older people can get active, stay connected and give something back to society – thanks to a six-figure funding boost for a south London charity.
Run by Age UK Lambeth, MYsocial is a membership service which provides opportunities for people to make friends, take part in exercise, social and creative activities and use their skills to help others.
The scheme, which has over 600 members, is being funded through a grant of £240,000 over the next five years from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.
A City Bridge Trust spokesperson said:
“Research suggests keeping the mind and body active, maintaining friendships and doing something that makes us feel useful all have huge benefits to health and wellbeing.
“This scheme has proven itself to be a godsend during the pandemic and we’re delighted to be able to support it for the next five years, so that many more older south Londoners can benefit.”
The MYsocial scheme offers over 100 events each month including exercise groups, signing classes, brunch clubs, talks, boules sessions, Tai Chi and talks.
Members use their skills to help others, such as by training as physical activity mentors, working as a Reiki therapist or helping children in a local school with reading skills.
The service moved online during the coronavirus pandemic, attracting over 10,000 attendees to over 750 events, including an online arts festival.
Age UK Lambeth’s MYsocial system lead Dolores Waltham said:
“MYSocial helps people stay connected, get out and meet people and learn new things, something we know has a really positive impact and makes a huge difference to their lives.
“It’s also about helping older people feel like they’re not a burden but part of a solution to some of the issues society faces, offering them opportunities to use their skills and talents and give something back.”
More information about Age UK Lambeth’s MYsocial scheme is at https://mysocial.london/