Golden Oldies receive a grant of £15,000 through the MCF

Somerset Freemasons, through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) have recently provided a grant of £15,000 towards Golden Oldies based in Radstock.

L-R John Crick (Charity Trustee), Graham Puddy, Emma Shearman (Operations and Fundraising Manager) and Adrian Robson

The Golden-Oldies Charity –, established in 2008 and known as “Goldies”, delivers fun, daytime social “Sing & Smile” community groups, supporting physical health, wellbeing and independent living by combating loneliness and isolation. The majority pf attendees live alone or care for a loved one, with many having early onset Dementia or Alzheimers and physical ailments as well as other mental issues, often experiencing depression and grief. The social sing-along sessions are open to all, but particularly aim to support older more vulnerable people by bringing them together for fun and friendship.

There are currently 125 monthly Sing & Smile groups running in England and Wales with new groups starting every month. Singing along to hits of the 50s onwards, taking part in chair based-based movement to music activities and dancing. Goldies helps to build stronger, more resilient communities, supporting each other through loneliness. Sessions run for an hour with extra time for a cuppa and chat, with some of the most popular sessions running since the Charity launched in 2007. The Charity also provides Christmas parties, Age Awareness days & a National Lottery Award winning intergenerational programme.

Goldies reaches an average of 1840 attendees every month. Singing, socialising and having opportunities to create supportive relationships has a proven impact on well-being and supports those with poor mental health and bereavement to continue to live independently. A short questionnaire completed in January 2023 showed that attending Goldies had a positive impact on mental health; 90% of attendees agreed that Goldies made them feel part of the their community and 88% agreed that attending Goldies made them feel less anxious and more confident. A Somerset attendee described how “after losing my husband, it took Goldies to get me out of my depression. It makes so much difference to me, I get to meet people, chat, laugh, dance and sing, it’s so enjoyable”!

Article by Graham Puddy

Uploaded by Ian Evans

Pictures courtesy of Les Pickersgill

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