Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Goodwill and volunteers drive community
11:37am Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in Columnists
VIVIENNE KNAGGS, Ryedale’s champion for older people, meets some inspiring people in her latest column for the Gazette
YOU might think that the small market town of Kirkbymoorside is quite a sleepy little place — but you would be far from the truth.
Not only are the shops, businesses and the weekly Wednesday market bustling with activity, but the sports clubs and other social activities are generally well supported as are the pubs, cafés and takeaways in the town. The only thing you might find lacking is adequate car parking space.
One thing you would not be aware of, however, is the growing number of volunteers, many of them retired people who are doing valiant voluntary work to help others. I have spoken to some of them and been surprised by the degree of individual commitment.
Mrs Lishman, for example, has been shopping and cooking meals for about 20 older people every Wednesday for the past seven or so years in the schoolroom of the Methodist Hall. This club has been going for 30 years in all, run by a succession of volunteers and their handful of helpers. Four of the beneficiaries are now in their 90s and have been coming regularly over many years. These recipients combine a look round the market with this social event which they enjoy greatly.
June Cook runs the Elderberry Club every Thursday afternoon in the same hall. Four volunteers run their own transport system which enables some older people to attend who might not otherwise get out for a social break. This club has games of bingo and whist, sometimes incorporating lunches and outings and of course there is always a cup of tea!
June says older people are very welcome. She is aware that new people might like the opportunity to make new friends and socialise.
June is also a member of the church’s pastoral group which was formed by the previous vicar, the Rev David Purdy about 18 months ago and now being run by the new incumbent, the Rev Mark Brosnan. This group meets once a month. Its members go out into the community and help older people in need of support by liaising with relatives, acting as a befriending service and organising care where necessary. In particular they try to help those who are lonely or isolated.
Dawn Henderson of Yorkshire Housing put me in touch with Jenny Blackburn, the warden of Sturdy Court, supported housing for older people who can no longer live entirely alone.
Every Thursday, a day centre is held there. On Tuesday, they hold a Luncheon Club, while on Friday a range of other activities takes place including dominoes, bingo, raffles and outings.
Manor Close Community Centre hosts coffee mornings with whist and dominoes on Tuesdays. But there are also special events which have included pie and pea suppers and barbecues.
Jenny was keen to emphasise that many functions are open to any older person and those interested will find a warm welcome. Anyone who wants more information can phone the office on 01751 432128.
All those I have spoken to believe that there are new people in the town and surrounding villages who might welcome the chance to join a group or be in need of help and support. If so do get in touch. Members of your town council may be able to help, or you can speak to your county and district councillors.
And good luck and a big thank you to those in Kirkbymoorside who engage in all this voluntary work. There can’t be much wrong with a place where there is so much goodwill.