With Be Well’s 10th anniversary this year, we’re in a reflective mood! While we’re always happy to talk about what we’re up to now and what’s on the horizon, there are some activities we set up in the past which have since “flown the nest”. They’re still thriving, but now under new management!
Over the last ten years, we’ve seen a fair few of our sessions take off under new management.
Today, we’re just going to tell you about three of our more unlikely success stories – including two which have only just struck out on their own and might need your support.
When we started, we were all about physical activity. Nowadays there’s a whole “Move More” movement on the go, but back in 2012 we were ground-breakers! Over the first few years of Be Well, we recruited hundreds of local older people into everything from Football to Rounders – both done at walking pace – and thought we had found our niche. Then our customers got involved.
Can we try this? Why don’t you do that? And when someone – you know who you are, Keith Clegg – suggested we do something specifically for people who would struggle with even gentle physical activity, we offered to pilot a session which prioritised the social side of things.
Men’s Club was formed, with the very gentlemanly Malcolm Bradford at the helm. Every week a number of men would meet, play a little table tennis or pool or anything they had a mind to and we had the kit for. Then they would sit down to a brew and a natter.
Now everybody can meet face to face, the group have struck out on their own. They’ve booked a room at the Central Methodist Church on Chapel Street and the gang is back together.
Our Chess Club, which was started on the initiative of regular walker Ian Brown, also emerged from lockdown and into independence. They realised they were quite able and quite keen to manage their own affairs, and so negotiated with Glossop Library for a quiet space to use. They’re now open for business every other Wednesday afternoon.
The third of our favourite former sessions is Read My Lips, High Peak and Tameside which was started as a response to the challenges met by our own Chair, Mick Owen, when his progressive hearing loss got so bad that he reluctantly accepted the need to do more than “turn up your hearing aids”. Lipreading looked like a good idea but the nearest session was 45 minutes away in Chorlton.
1 in 6 people in the UK is deafened or hard of hearing, but still reliant on the spoken word to communicate. With this in mind, Mick used our contacts and systems to find a room, a tutor, a group of learners and the funding to underpin the enterprise. By 2019 the group was strong enough to take charge of its destiny, and they still meet on Fridays in Glossop town centre.
When you add in Walking Football groups and regular walks that have “spun off” from Be Well, we think we have plenty to be proud of! And we’re always pleased to hear from those of our groups who have flown the nest and help them along if times are hard. We’re nice like that.
Here are the latest details of the three groups:
We are very supportive of the Read My Lips, High Peak and Tameside group which was initially part of our programme. It is such a valuable service that we will always try to help them if they need us. We know, for example that they are looking to recruit new learners in the post lockdown period. Their sessions are:
Fridays 1.30 to 3.30pm
£40 for a 10 week term (payable in advance)
Central Methodist Church, Chapel Lane, Glossop SK13 8AT
Contact: Karen at email@example.com
Read My Lips helps people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and use voice in face-to-face communication. The sessions will teach you the skills of lip reading but also help with your confidence in public and show you strategies for thriving with hearing loss.
This is a friendly group where playing is more important than winning so no matter how much you know about the King’s Gambit – whatever that is – you’ll be made very welcome. Their sessions are:
Every other Wednesday from 1.30pm-3.30pm
The first floor of Glossop Library.
Players are welcome to turn up on the day, or can contact David by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 01457 514654.
All levels of players are welcome, including those who would like to learn how to play. The group is adults only.
Weekly meetings at Central Methodist Church on Chapel Street.