A series of events for older people in Middlesbrough are to be hosted in the Café of M&S Middlesbrough in aid of local project, Ageing Better Middlesbrough. The charity which works with people aged 50 and over to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

The M&S Middlesbrough store is in its 2nd year of supporting Ageing Better Middlesbrough, a Big Lottery funded project. Previous activity has included a trip to Whitby for carers and a number of events in the Café. The ‘Community Café’ events will include a range of activities including knitting, table games and quizzes.

M&S recently launched a major community transformation programme in the town as part of its plan to support 1,000 communities across the country over the next two years. M&S will trial a range of actions designed to tackle the issues that matter most to communities including loneliness and isolation. Following on from a tea party held in June with the Royal Voluntary Service, the series of in-store events will continue to take forward the pilot programme.

Terri-Anne Rigg, Store Manager at M&S Middlesbrough, said: “The Community Café events are a fantastic initiative which provide social opportunities for the older members of our community. Loneliness is such a pressing issue in our society and something we are keen to tackle as part of our transformation programme in the town. We are only too happy to offer our support and Café space for the cause. ”

Linda Ford, Community Projects Officer for Ageing Better Middlesbrough, said: “The events in the Community Café will provide a warm and friendly welcome for people who may be coming along on their own. It will give them the time and space to talk to other people and perhaps make new friends in a safe and accessible location.”

The events planned are:

•        Monday 21st Aug 9:30-11:am Coffee & Quiz 

•        Monday 4th September 2:30pm – 4:00pm  Knit & Natter

•        Tuesday 19th September 9:30 -11:00 am   Breakfast & Beetle Drive

•        Thursday 28th September 9:30-11:00am  Tea, Toast & Table Games

•        Monday 9th October 2:30-4:00pm  Tea & Table Games 

•        Tuesday 24th October 9:30-11:00am  Cannon Street & Coffee

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be offered to attendees. To sign-up to attend any of the events, please contact Linda Ford on 07981203997