Age-old advice

IMG_20220616_111426Ron Filer’s art class at the Allan Burgess Centre

Darren Morgan from Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering highlights the importance of keeping active, and invites over-55s to take advantage of the charity’s activity centre in Wanstead

Following the pandemic, levels of social isolation remain high, so here at Age UK, we’re trying to tempt older people back out again. Now the pandemic is easing and things are slowly returning to normal, I would also like to highlight the importance of keeping active.

If you are over the age of 55 and live locally, you can give your fitness, mental well-being and social life a real boost by dropping into our activity centre (The Allan Burgess Centre) at 2 Grove Park, Wanstead. The centre, staffed by wonderful volunteers, is a short walk from the station and bus stops, and is a homely, welcoming and safe environment.

What’s on offer? We can help you get fit with chair exercises and yoga, or if you prefer something livelier, Zumba at the nearby Cherry Tree Café. If you fancy something more intellectual, join us for a game of bridge, read along at the book club, or learn how to get the most out of your smartphone, tablet or computer. Creative? Then arts, crafts and knitting may be for you.

Our activities are food for thought. And speaking of food, we provide a two-course lunchtime meal cooked fresh on-site using wholesome, high-quality ingredients by a trained chef. The menu changes daily, except for Fridays, when we love to serve a delicious, traditional roast dinner.

We’re open Monday to Friday, with activities typically taking place between 10am and 3pm, and lunch served around 12 noon. Activities are £3 per session, with Monday to Thursday lunch priced £5, and £5.50 on Friday. As we are a charity, we do not make a profit – all proceeds are ploughed back into the centre.

Our knowledgeable staff and volunteers are also able to give helpful information and advice. So, you can pop in if you have any questions about things that may be causing you concern and don’t know where to look for guidance. A very big part of our service is providing you with information or signposting you to other organisations that will help.

We also have talks from the local police on keeping safe, and from local health services on keeping fit, healthy and independent.

Dropping into the centre is a great way to spend an hour or two, to do something interesting, eat and drink, and most importantly, to make friends. But don’t take my word for it. Geraldine, who has been attending the art classes, says: “I thought I’d give it a go, and not only did I find a new talent for painting, I’ve made several new friends over the weeks. We’re like a family here. We all have a laugh and the staff really look out for you as well. I’m so glad I initially popped in. It’s now something to look forward to, and I certainly recommend it.”

The Allan Burgess Centre is located at 2 Grove Park, Wanstead, E11 2DL.
For more information, call 020 8989 6338