At the UCKG, we believe older people should not be isolated or neglected. They should live with dignity as valued, respected and involved members of society. That’s why we have our very own Seniors Group where older people meet weekly in the Rainbow Theatre and in all of our UK Centres.
As well as providing help and support through counselling and home help such as shopping and house cleaning, we also hold regular activities such as dinners, dances and quiz competitions so that there is always something for group members to look forward to.
One such outing was a trip to the beach and a picnic. Members invited their families and had great fun splashing around on the beach and chatting. Over 100 people attended and everyone cooked their national dish to take along for the picnic.
But as well as all the fun activities, we also believe that it is never too late for anyone to learn a new skill. That’s why we’ve engaged in projects funded by UK Online (a broadband and dial-up Internet access provider) to provide IT training to people aged 55+ who have never used a computer. This is a great opportunity for seniors to learn how to use the Internet to access health websites, emails to keep in touch with friends and family and also to learn how to use Microsoft Word.
Tutors and extra volunteers are on hand to offer one-to-one help to those who need it and many of the students have been using their newly found skills at home and in the library.
The head of the Seniors Group, Miss Cynthia Gbenedji said, “The seniors benefit from this project not only by gaining skills but by having their self-esteem lifted. We have some seniors who never got the chance to complete school or even go on a course and so this was a great achievement for them.
“There are those who always depended on their children/grandchildren to get information about something they needed. But at the end of the course, they had the confidence to send an email to their family members, and those who do not have computers at home would go to their local libraries.”
The Seniors Group is also supported by Age Concern in Islington. The charity’s help includes information, advice and advocacy services and day centres. They also invite volunteers from the UCKG Seniors Group to events that help advance care for the elderly.
For more information, call 020 7686 6000 (24hrs).