Havant MP Alan Mak hailed the critical work done by a Hayling Island lunch club to improve the social lives of the elderly ahead a special Older Persons Information Fair he is hosting in October.
He made the visit to the Hayling Island Community Centre, which will host the fair, to meet some of the members of the lunch club.
It has been run by volunteers for around 30 years and continues to be a huge success with 35 to 40 older people attending every week. They are given a coffee in the morning, followed by a popular bingo game, and then a nutritious lunch.
Mr Mak’s first Older Person Information & Advice Fair is on Friday 14 October at Hayling Island Community Centre. Doors are open 10am to 3pm. It will bring together a wide range of businesses, government agencies, community groups and charities that work with or serve older people. The free event is open to everyone, including the friends, family, neighbours and carers of older people. The Islander is supporting the event as a media partner.
“Helping older people is really important and it was great to see the work done by volunteers at the community centre,” Mr Mak said. “Since being elected I’ve been keen to do all I can to highlight the great work done for older people in the community.”
“The lunch club volunteers led by Ann Louth have been doing a wonderful job in making sure the older residents of Hayling Island do not become lonely and isolated. It was a pleasure to see them in action.”
He added: “I also encourage everyone to come along to my Older Persons Fair which will be a fantastic showcase for all the work done to help the elderly in the community.”
The Hayling Island Community Centre also runs events throughout the week including social groups and fitness classes. It comes after the centre was awarded nearly £500,000 worth of funding in March to build a much-needed extension and provide more services.
The two storey extension will consist of a community café and kitchen on the ground floor, with seating for up to 40 people, a disabled toilet, lift and stairs to the first floor.
Centre manager Tania Jones said: “It was great to welcome Alan Mak to see the lunch club. He has been a firm supporter of older people and his fair will be a great showcase for all the support which is on offer in the community.”
To find out more about the lunch club call Ann Louth 02392 467083.