Charlton Athletic are one of 12 clubs to be part of a nationwide launch of an Extra Time Hub for the elderly as 86 people attended this Wednesday’s session.
Studies show 42% of those over the age of 55 are inactive and would like opportunities to meet peers to feel less isolated, live well and do things they enjoy.
Extra Time, run by Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT), aims at tackling these issues, helping to reduce social isolation for people over the age of 55 who are retired or semi-retired.
Funded with the support of Sport England’s Active Aging fund from the National Lottery, activities on offer include bingo, singing, table tennis and an exercise class.
Charlton Athletic legend and CACT Ambassador Keith Peacock attended this week’s event to show his support, taking part in activities such as table tennis and speaking to members.
On the project, Peacock said: “It’s so beneficial for a great number of people in the community to be able to have a purpose to their day or week through this type of get together.
“You can join in everything or become a watcher of what’s going on; there’s no pressure. I can’t speak highly enough of Extra Time Hub.”
Edna Bigwood, an Extra Time member, said: “I’ve been coming here for four months. It’s a very nice and friendly place to come to.
“I wouldn’t be doing anything if I didn’t come here on a Wednesday morning.
“What I do think is good is all the young people that run it. I think it’s marvellous how they like helping elderly people like me.”
Pauline Rybacki, a relatively new member, added: “My main aim is to come here and have a chat and a laugh.
“That is the essence of life, to communicate and to have a sense of humour and to join in; that’s why I come.
“I do the exercise, I do the quiz, it keeps the brain going!”
Membership of CACT’s Extra Time Hub has been increasing hugely over the past few months, with more and more people enjoying their experience.
The sessions are held weekly at The Valley’s Millennium Suite every Wednesday morning (10am-12pm) and members pay just £3 a session or £10 a month to attend.
For more information on the initiative, visit the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) website.