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Table tennis unites older people and combats loneliness

14th May 2018


It is important to keep mentally and physically active as people get older and while there have been inroads into combining nurseries with older adults’ residential homes, a former pub in Leeds is looking to combine the generations and add an element of competitiveness through table tennis. With mixed teams comprised of older citizens and pupils from the nearby Ralph Thoresby High School, it is an effort to keep people mobile and lessen the generational gap between residents in Tinshill in North West Leeds.


The Welcome In Community Centre is doing an incredible job of not only keeping older adults mobile and active but also changing attitudes towards them within the younger members of the community. For those who do not have regular contact with their grandparents, this initiative offers an alternative insight. The chief executive of Opal (Older People’s Action in the Locality) Ailsa Rhodes, who is attached to the Leeds adult social care, explains:


“Older people can easily be intimidated by young people and young people can often perceive older people as grumpy or boring. These negative stereotypes are very quickly overcome when the different age groups come together for activities. Increased social contact between different age groups makes a stronger community where people know each other and look out for each other.”


The community centre also has a café, exercise classes, therapy rooms, a lunch club and regularly organised outings in an effort to keep their older adults connected and active. This is an important facility especially for those who have limited mobility or rely on home stairlifts or other mobility aids like scooters.


The community spirit that supports and connects older adults to each other, as well as their younger counterparts, is thriving in North West Leeds and it is hoped that other initiatives across the country will be inspired by the success of multi-generational table tennis

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.