BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF GREATER MANCHESTER LAUNCH PILOT PROJECT TO COMBAT LONELINESS, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE COOP FOUNDATION & TABLE TENNIS ENGLAND
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester have launched a new project aiming to help combat loneliness and get more people active in local communities.
Funding by the Greater Manchester Moving campaign and delivered in partnership with the COOP Foundation and Table Tennis England, the project will run twelve Tea, Chat and Bat sessions over the next year at Stockport Lads Club.
People from the local community will be able to come to the club, enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake (as Aunt Sally used to say) and if they want take part in a friendly, recreational game of Table Tennis.
Volunteers from the COOP will be around to encourage conversation and serve the tea and cakes, a qualified Table Tennis instructor will be providing advice and expertise for the more sporting side of things.
“The aim is to bring people together and to get to know other people from their local community.” Said Andy Hamill of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester, “If they enjoy a game of Table Tennis as well, then that is even better. We know that loneliness is a big issue. Despite our world being so well connected in many other ways, people, it would seem are very disconnected in terms of actually meeting and conversing with one another. This project will hopefully help people to connect and as a result improve their physical and emotional well-being.”
Alison Hodges from the COOP Foundation said, “One of our key themes as a foundation is loneliness. We are really pleased to be working with the Boys & Girls Clubs on this as through their network, they have access to lots of great local and accessible venues, where we can bring people together to meet and talk, and even play Table Tennis.”
Andrea Holt, said that Table Tennis England are keen to be involved in innovative projects such as this. “It is great to think that Table Tennis England can play a role in bringing people together in local communities. It’s a pleasure to see that Table Tennis helps to improve people’s emotional health as well as physical fitness.”
Local volunteers will also be trained up to help run the sessions.
The first session takes place on Monday 9th July at Stockport Lads Club, Hempshaw Lane, Stockport, SK1 4ND. ALL are welcome to these free Tea, Chat & Bat afternoons.