“Before I joined the 1596 Club I would just take my book and sit alone, now I’m in a place to chat and communicate with others and avoid feeling lonely.”
Margaret joined Whitgift Care’s Day Care service, the 1596 Club, in February 2017 and has been thoroughly enjoying the club ever since.
The 77-year-old was lonely and jumped at the opportunity to join a social group.
The 1596 Club is for those who wish to live in their own homes but would like to maintain an active social life, access extra support and enjoy a delicious meal without any of the effort.
Aimed at the over 60s, the service provides the perfect setting for older people to form friendships and participate in a range of activities, while transport is available for ease for £5. “The minibus is great – I recently had a knee replacement so the minibus is perfect to get picked up and dropped home.”
Margaret found out about the 1596 Club when her daughter brought home a flyer from the Carers’ Information Service. The Selsdon local was interested in the lunches and activities held at the Homes so she soon contacted the club.
Care Services Manager, Jennifer Daley, visited Margaret at her home to give more information about the club and its benefits. At first Margaret was anxious and wondered if it was for her. She overcame uncertainty over the cost when Jennifer suggested Margaret attended a free trial day – and she has never looked back since.
Despite initial nerves the club has become part of Margaret’s weekly routine. She thoroughly enjoys the lunches prepared especially the fish and chips on Fridays: “I love the meals, they are so delicious and it’s so good not to worry about cooking and the hassle of washing up.”
Margaret no longer feels lonely as the 1596 Club has brought more people into her life; she talks and meets far more people now than if she was at home.
The Whitgift House community room is where the Day Care members gather to enjoy events and activities organised by the Activities Coordinators and Care Officers. Margaret has been thoroughly enjoying the events and activities. So far one highlight has been a visit from Zoo Lab, who brought in animals and creatures: “I held a beetle and giant snail, it was fantastic, it’s not something you do every day”. Margaret also went for a day trip to the Horsham Museum in April.
Margaret has also taken part in the exercise classes, enjoyed visits from Old Palace School musicians, line dancing, poetry classes and a games afternoon.
We currently have space at the 1596 Club at Whitgift House and Wilhelmina House. If you know anyone like Margaret who might be interested in joining the 1596 Club please get in touch: 020 8256 1596 or 1596Club@whitgiftcare.co.uk.
“I’m having a brilliant time being part of the 1596 Club – we all laugh together, it’s wonderful because I’ve made friends.”