Many moons ago, Ian Lawson, Staffordshire County Councillor, supported my bid (Michelle Jackson) for Local Community funding to develop a Coffee Morning at Biddulph Library. Tall Oakes Nursing Home were regular visitors and came in all weathers for a coffee and a chat and took part in some super events such as painting, flower arranging and other crafts in the library.
When Ross Podyma, Community Engagement Worker from the Royal Voluntary Service, was looking for a venue for his Local People’s project, I quickly volunteered the library. The group meet once a month to look at ways to reduce social isolation for the older people in the area. Now the Steering Group is established they are meeting up, sharing ideas and planning a wide range of fun community activities, from their Tall Oakes Ukulele group to days out in Stockport.
This is a great example of ‘People Helping People’, services are not being delivered to older people but the group are helping to shape the range of activities on offer. Through the funding from the People’s Health Trust and the efforts of local of people, the activities are making a difference to members of the local community. For me, it is great to see the group flourishing and growing in confidence, under Ross’s guidance. They are still meeting in the library, planning and delivering their events. They have even set up their own Facebook Page!