Group whose events tackle loneliness hope office will become community ‘hub’

Councillor Peter Box hands keys to new office for the Senior Citizens Support Group to Tom Long. Accompanied by Councillor Darren Byford on the right.
Councillor Peter Box hands keys to new office for the Senior Citizens Support Group to Tom Long. Accompanied by Councillor Darren Byford on the right.
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A GROUP which helps to alleviate loneliness and social isolation among older people in Wakefield by ensuring their members always have something to look forward to has opened its first permanent office.

The Senior Citizens Support Group was first established in 2010 and organises a programme of activities to ensure its 600-plus members get out and about, meet with others and socialise within the community and beyond.

But it could no longer cope “on the kitchen tables” of volunteers and has been on the hunt for a admin base.

After meeting with Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box, the group, chaired by Tom Long, worked with council officers and found a space in Horbury’s Old Town Hall on Westfield Road.

Coun Box officially opened the new space on Monday.

Mr Long said: “We do not employ any staff and everything we do is planned, organised and executed by volunteers, but our expansion was being hindered by the lack of a central administration point.

“Situated in the centre of Horbury it is an ideal location which has enabled us to centralise all of our administrative function in one place. It has easy access for our members who can call in and get all the information on activities that they require along with purchasing tickets for events.”

The group intends on creating a “hub” where all members of the community can be signposted for advice on a variety of matters.

“There is nowhere in the local community that provides this service and whilst we cannot offer advice we will be able to point people in the right direction,” Mr Long said.

“One of the major difficulties that the older generation have is their lack of knowledge of the internet and computers in general. We hope to try to alleviate this by providing access to computers along with the guidance that is required. We will also offer the facility to take away with them hard copies of the web pages that they have accessed.

“Hopefully this will go a long way to eradicating the often heard lament: ‘How can I find out about this at xyz.com?’

“This is only a small office but we firmly believe that it is a major asset to the community and at the same time brings the Old Town Hall back into the heart of the community. It will enable SCSG to continue to accelerate the work that we do in trying to eradicate loneliness in older people.”