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Friends are here to help at Eccleshill support group
A companionship group for men who have been through life-changing events is getting bigger – due to popular demand.
Men @ Eccy Meccy has grown from a core of just a few stalwart members to 39 now, says group co-ordinator Johnny Thelwell.
Every Tuesday, the group meets at Eccleshill Mechanics Institute in Stone Hall Road to catch up with each other, get support and have a laugh.
Staying active and socially connected is the key to wellbeing says Mr Thelwell, who hopes to secure more funding for the group so it can continue its work in the area after April next year when the current Big Lottery Fund comes to an end.
Members include those from Eccleshill who would otherwise be home alone, who have been through a bereavement or have experienced some other kind of life-altering event.
Guest speakers, chances to learn new skills from cooking to playing an instrument, days out and trips away are just some of the activities lined up on the packed programme to keep members on the go.
As well as the two-hour Tuesday sessions, some of the men have become befrienders and every other Monday go out and visit members who, for a variety of reasons, can not make it to the Mechanics.
One of the befrienders is pensioner Peter Dolby: “They’re all nice lads there. I’ve made some good friends. The only time I’d ever miss a Tuesday is if I’m away on holiday!”
Mr Thelwell said: “As one of our members said, ‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing!’ That’s why we like to keep so active!”
Numbers are rising with more referrals from the group’s partner clinic at Eccleshill Medical Centre and doctors. The youngest member now is 43, and the oldest is 92.
To find out more about the group, e-mail email@example.com.