The perfect clubs for people who don’t like sports
16th May 2018
Staying sociable is one of the greatest challenges that faces the UK’s older adults today, and this can be made more difficult for a number of reasons. For those who have limited mobility and find their movements restricted by things such as the availability of disability walk in showers and baths at their clubs of choice may struggle to find a club that is the perfect match for them. This is made more difficult for those who do not enjoy participating in sports as many clubs and groups are based around people who are more physically able.
That is not to say there are no other hobbies to pursue with other people in the local area, but knowing where to start can sometimes feel challenging. Instead, why not look into some of the clubs suggested below to keep people active and sociable as they get older.
Though there are many streaming services that give people access to a wide variety of films it can be difficult to move out of the comfort zone or commit several hours to a film that may not be your first choice. This is why film clubs are a great idea, especially for those who struggle with being indecisive. Often couples, individuals and even families can sign-up to a local film group that will host a wide variety of films over a set amount of weeks.
Though not every film will appeal to every individual, it is a great opportunity for those looking to expand their knowledge or try out new genres. Whilst on the face of it, watching films with others may not feel like the most sociable pastime, the heated debate a new film can cause or a comparison to its book form is a great way of meeting new people and interacting with ideas outside a person’s normal sphere.
A foraging course/group
Often getting out and about in better weather may seem appealing, while the idea of getting hot and bothered in pursuit of a ball does not. Why not combine a new hobby with an effort of sustainability by finding edible fruit, veg, herbs and fungus in the local hedgerows.
While almost everybody from the country has been blackberry picking in their youth, the uprising of supermarket giants saw the habit fall in popularity. Now as people are returning to ideas of seasonality and sustainability, groups and individuals are combining the countryside looking for everything from wild garlic to morels.
Foraging will not only help people get to know their local area better and feel more in touch with the nature around them but push them to try new recipes to better enjoy the day’s finds. Start with a foraging course in your local area to ensure your foraging will be safe. By joining a foraging group it will put people in touch with other like-minded foragers in the area.
John is the mastermind of Forage London and has written a book, runs courses and regularly forages not only the urban landscape but those more associated with hunter-gathering. He has found an enormous interest in the art of foraging and spoke passionately about why it is a worthwhile pastime:
“I can think of nothing more fulfilling than cooking with food that I have foraged. To feed yourself and those you care about with ingredients sourced by your own hands is to rekindle a relationship with nature, and the simple act of gathering our own food is the way man has existed for the majority of time on this planet. Although this isn’t an activity that most people associate with living in a twenty-first-century city, I’m sure my courses will change the way you look at where you live and allow you to share in some of the wonderful edible experiences that the city has to offer.”
Knitting has been long associated with older adults and now many people are taking up knitting to keep their hands busy while they watch television or listen to their favourite radio program.
That is not to say that knitting has to be a solitary pastime, the very nature of the activity opens it to being social often with unplanned knitting groups coming together in a serendipitous manner. It is not all about sharing patterns or suggesting wool colours, knitting groups are often fantastic support groups in even the most rural communities.
There are lots of online tutorials for those who are not confident in their skills and want to brush up a little. Knitting is also very affordable, with wool available at discount shops and needles often being found in charity shops. It is also something that can be practised at home to measure your progress. Taking on an ambitious project, like a patchwork or a jumper depending on your abilities, not only gives people something to strive for but also a way of measuring how far they have come thus far.
A specialist Yarn shop in Bovey Tracey, Devon holds regular knitting workshops. This has made Spin A Yarn a hub of the community and Esther told us the positive effects knitting has had:
“Our knitting clubs bring together a wide range of people, many of whom have been affected by physical issues at points in their lives. They build a real sense of community. We have even had customers take up knitting again after a stroke or long illness and discover that the skills they use for knitting really help rebuild their physical skills. Many other customers find it extremely effective for stress and anxiety relief – the meditative process on focusing on something other than your worries and creating something beautiful at the end of it can be extremely therapeutic. We have had customers knitting through cancer treatment, difficult pregnancies, after the loss of a spouse – all of whom found it extremely helpful and positive.”
The Great British Bake Off has indicated the popularity of home baking in the UK and has also inspired to dust off their piping bags and their ceramic baking beans in an effort to recreate the creations that have been seen on the screen.
The Women’s Institute has been running for over a century and among its goods works, it has become famous for its incredible baking. This is something that many women up and down the country participate in, but why not elevate home baking with some beautiful decorations? More than a bright red train for a grand child’s birthday, there are courses that can help people master everything from fondant flowers to intricate sugar work to immaculate piping.
The beauty of intricately decorated cakes is in giving the creations to others and whether people wish to try an ambitious wedding cake for a relation or simply cupcakes to share with friends at other events, this is something people can practice at home or with others.
The delicate work of cake decorating will help improve the dexterity and stability of the hands in order to maintain an attractive finish and is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination.
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