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Older and Active

8th May 2014

Our thriving Older & Active group is SLIG’s longest running group. The ladies came together 5-6 years ago to build relations across the interface whilst also addressing issues such as social exclusion.

Meeting every Monday in Horn Drive Community Centre (10.30am-12.30pm), the ladies partake in various activities from September to June. The current programme began with a complimentary therapies programme which ran for eight weeks. It was a complimentary approach to health and wellbeing including cognitive behavioural techniques for depression, anxiety and general mental health and wellbeing. It included talks and practical demos about massages, reflexology and acupuncture. The programme empowered individuals to find techniques that work for them to relieve stress.

Other activities before Christmas included Boccia, a form of indoor bowls with balls similar to bean bags, and a live comedy show with local comedian Paddy McDonnell. The ladies also had excursions out for lunches and shopping.

Either side of Christmas, we went on two tours. Firstly we enjoyed the Falls/Shankill tour which was quite emotive for some members with the political connotations and personal memories of loved ones lost in the conflict still very raw. On the other hand, the Belfast Bus Tour in a vintage 1960s bus was very upbeat with the ladies reminiscing about the old dance halls and linen mills.

After Christmas we welcomed UUJ student Kyle Bond who spent six weeks with the ladies testing his new facebook app he has specifically designed for older people. Some of the ladies who thought technology had passed them by, have since purchased tablets and are conversing regularly and sharing photos with relatives overseas.Here they are receiving their certificates for compelting the course:

Older & Active Receiving Certificates

More recently we have been working with drama group Spring Chickens to produce a short music video which features various members illustrating things that are important to them and we’re all looking forward to the final production. We are also exploring other ways of engaging with Spring Chickens to ensure drama, dance and arts workshops continue to be made available for our group.

In the meantime, the ladies are enjoying armchair aerobics, boccia, new age kurling and other dance and physical activity sessions at Horn Drive every Monday.

Each session finishes with the group enjoying a lunch and a cup of tea. All new members are very welcome to join the group at any time. For further information, contact Neil McKee on 02890 629146.