Older people who are feeling lonely or isolated are being given the opportunity to meet friends through a new luncheon club.

Wolverhampton City Council's Neighbourhood Support Service inspired some of its customers to join in a trial Meet and Eat luncheon at the Goodyear Pavilion last month - and it proved so successful that it is to become a regular event.

The club is just one way in which the Neighbourhood Support Service helps people to remain independent by giving them the confidence they need to take part in regular social activities.

The city council teamed up with Ring and Ride for the trial session, which saw 13 Neighbourhood Support Service users take part. In no time at all, new friendships were being made and those taking part were able to relax and enjoy their outing.

Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "It's a sad fact that some older people experience isolation, perhaps due to mobility difficulties or a lack of self confidence, which prevents them from getting out and about. This in turn can have a really debilitating impact on them, and a loss of their independence.

"The Meet and Eat club was launched to give older residents the chance to meet like minded people and enjoy a delicious meal out - but more importantly it seeks to help them become more independent and take greater control over their lives.

"The trial proved very successful. We had some fantastic feedback from those who took part and I'm delighted that it will be held on a regular basis.

"Many of those who took part previously found it hard to get out and about, and we were able to show them how easy it is to arrange transport to a social event like this.

"Hopefully their experience will also encourage them to take part in some of the other events and activities that take place around Wolverhampton.

"This really fits with the personalisation agenda - which is all about giving people greater independence and more control over their lives."

Following the successful trial, the Neighbourhood Support Service has agreed to continue supporting a monthly Meet and Eat luncheon to promote social inclusion and reduce isolation among its older and less able customers.

It takes place at the Goodyear Pavilion from 12pm to 2pm on the second Thursday of the month, and for more information about either Meet and Eat or the other help that the Neighbourhood Support Service can provide to vulnerable older people, please call 01902 554701 or email nss@wolverhampton.gov.uk. To book a journey with Ring and Ride, please call 01902 421515.

  • released: Thursday 20 March, 2014