Loneliness Awareness Week: Will’s Story

As part of Loneliness Awareness Week, we are highlighting the work being done by the Community Trust to help those at risk of isolation. Today we hear from Will Johnson, who was looking to take part in a regular activity and mix with people after his wife passed away in 2014.

Will, 85, takes up the story: “It was a very difficult time as I found myself on my own after more than 50 years of marriage. I wanted to do something which would benefit my physical health and also enable me to meet people of a similar age.

“My youngest son told me about the weekly Senior Spireites exercise group, based in the HUB and I agreed to try it. I enjoyed going there and meeting up with the others in the group.

“Mixing with other people is so important and the weekly get-together was something I really looked forward to. I felt a lot better after being there.

“It serves a dual-purpose as the chair-based exercises help with your fitness and then we all have a cup of tea or coffee afterwards and have a chat.

“People are made to feel welcome and I’ve made some good friends after being involved with the group. There are also occasional social outings to different places. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone.”

The sessions are currently suspended due to the pandemic. Instructor Tina Hensey is awaiting the go-ahead to resume, along with guidance regarding the necessary safety measures which need to be in place.

When the sessions are running, they take place every Wednesday in the HUB at the Technique Stadium, from around 10am to 11.30am. Participants then have a chat with a cup of tea/coffee and biscuits. The cost of attending is just £4.

We will announce as soon as it is known when the sessions are due to resume.