Lottery boost of £20,000 for two clubs for elderly

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Two groups for older people have each been awarded grants of around £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

They are the Never Too Old Club (Over 50s) in Portadown and the Birches Cosy Club and Day Care Centre which will use the grants to continue running their annual programme of events.

The Never Too Old Club meets every Wednesday afternoon from 2.30-6pm in the Royal British Legion in Thomas Street. You do not have to be a member to attend.

Activities include line dancing and armchair aerobics, bingo, general dancing and a sing-along.

Four trips have also been planned to places of interest throughout the country. These include the Somme Heritage Centre in Newtownards, the Ulster American Folk park including Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway and Portrush, and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra, including Bangor. Dinner will be provided on each outing.

From May to August ‘The Ramblers’ will meet every Thursday for a leisurely stroll. These are provisional dates and the walking season can be extended, weather permitting.

During the summer months, a number of barbecues will be organised and at least four dinner dances will take place on selected Friday nights, one of them being the annual formal.

New members are always welcome. Members pay £3 each Wednesday and £3.50 for non-members. To become a member costs £5 per year.

Meanwhile, the Birches Cosy Club and Day Care Centre has approximately 50 members. Members of the Day Care Centre are aged from 70 to 90 plus years while the Cosy Club, whose members make crafts, are aged from 60-80 years.

The Day Care Centre meets on Tuesday morning from 10am until lunchtime. On arrival, members have a cup of tea and home-baked scones before enjoying activities which can range from music, crafts, indoor sports activities, armchair based activities, IT classes, painting, board games or bingo.

They enjoy a three-course lunch before going home.

Two outings are arranged per year, one at Easter and one in August - to the Somme and Greyabbey garden centre.

The afternoon club meets from 2.30pm - 4.30pm for crafts work. At the moment they are painting on glass.

The groups meet in the community buildings at the Birches just beside the Birches Roundabout at junction 12. Anyone who would like to join or become a volunteer should contact Mrs Edith Stevenson on telephone number 028 3885 2041.