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Residents at Meadow Park Care Home, Bedlington try Rookie Golf for the first time

ByDave Stopher

Jun 21, 2018

Older residents at Barchester’s Meadow Park Care Home in Bedlington tried Rookie Golf for the first time last week in their very own lounge.

Tom Lyons from Rookie Sports led a Rookie Golf session with residents who played a variety of different golf games including putting and chipping games. The overall winner was resident ambassador Una Arnesen with runners up husband and wife George and Mary Elleanor Johnson.

The free class was part of First Time for Everything, a programme designed by Royal Voluntary Service and Prudential to give older people in Northumberland (and across the UK) an opportunity to try something new for free in their local community.  Staying active and social have been proven to be important to keeping fit and well in older age.

Research[1] by Royal Voluntary Service last year found that two thirds (65 per cent) of people aged 60 and over wanted to try a new activity, but three in ten (29 per cent) felt there weren’t enough local opportunities to do so.  Keen to address this, the charity joined forces with Prudential to launch the First Time for Everything programme.

Suzanne Hudson, General Manager of Meadow Park Care Home run by Barchester Healthcare, said: “Our residents have really enjoyed their rounds of Rookie Golf.  Royal Voluntary Service organised for Rookie Sports to visit our residents.  They were fantastic in teaching the residents at Meadow Park how to play and set up fun courses throughout the home.  Our staff even had a swing about too! It was a really lovely day.”

Louise Parker, Royal Voluntary Service activity co-ordinator for Northumberland says: “It’s been wonderful to see the residents enjoying our First Time for Everything activities.  Thanks to funding from Prudential, we have lots more exciting events coming up and hope that even more older people, their carers and families will come along.  It’s never too late to try something for the first time.”

Eleanor Turner, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Prudential, said: “The First Time for Everything programme has had a significant impact in the communities where it’s already run.  We want to help create experiences that enhance the lives of older people and at the same time help address the epidemic of loneliness in the UK, particularly amongst the elderly.  We’re therefore delighted to be supporting Royal Voluntary Service.  We hope that even more older people will enjoy trying First Time for Everything activities in 2018.” 

The next Prudential First Time for Everything event is paddle boarding with Northside Surf which will take place near Amble on Monday 25thJune at 10 am.

Royal Voluntary Service relies on support from local volunteers to help run First Time for Everything events and other social activities and is looking for more volunteers to join its friendly, dedicated team. 

Louise Parker says: “For anyone with a few hours to spare, volunteering is a great way to get involved in the local community.  Our volunteers are a wonderful bunch of people – many are aged 60 and over – and they really enjoy the buzz they get from helping others.”  

For more information about Prudential First Time for Everything activities for older people in Northumberland, and to find out more about volunteering opportunities at the events, contact Louise Parker, Royal Voluntary Service activity co-ordinator for Northumberland on 078245 47863, email louise.parker@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk