By Taz Virdee
Happy New Year! Bringing people together is what The Big Local is all about. We are delighted to see our Social Health project with The Welcome Club and Hounslow Community Transport (HCT) is doing just that. Every Monday the group meets at Cranford Community College, Globe House from 1 to 3pm to play some bingo and board games over a nice cup of tea. The Welcome Club has been running for nearly 20 years helping Heston’s elderly residents come together.
However in June 2016, after a meeting with Jean Forster (The Welcome Club Chairperson) we were made aware that group participants were now struggling to attend the sessions due to ill health, mobility and travel difficulties. This meant the possible closure of the club, however we were able to step in and help fund and arrange transport with HCT to pick up each individual resident for a free round trip.
"...this is the only time each week I can enjoy myself with my friends."
A delighted Jean said: “We would really like to thank the Big Local for their big support. Without the transport we wouldn't have been able to carry on. The transport is excellent and we would also like to thank Arati and John at HCT for being so kind and helpful.”
Group participant Hilda added: “I think the club is really great, we have a laugh and everyone get on well with each other. It helps me get out and about.”
The Welcome Club is more than playing bingo and having tea, it’s also an opportunity for residents to improve their general wellbeing. Long-term group pariticpant Lyn added: “It’s marvellous. I have early on-set Alzheimer’s and without transport I wouldn’t be able to come. Also, this is the only time each week I can enjoy myself with my friends.”
It’s great to see how a small community project is making a big difference to local lives. Special thanks to Cranford Community College for kindly donating the space for The Welcome Club.
Do you know someone who would like to join the Welcome Club? We welcome local residents over 50yrs. Please contact Taz on 07702 543 710 for more information about joining.