St Patrick beats loneliness in Queen's Park

Queen’s Park residents marked St Patrick’s Day in style in an event held last Friday, aimed at reducing isolation amongst older people.

Gathered in the green and orange bedecked community hall on the Lydford estate, more than 30 residents enjoyed treats from the Emerald Isle including Kimberley biscuits, Irish cream, and Porter cake and listened to a local singer belt out tunes such as ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’.

Vicky Andrews, resident engagement coordinator from CityWest Homes, who organised the event, said the aim of the event was to reduce isolation amongst older people in the area.

She said: “There is a strong Irish community on the Lydford estate and also a high proportion of older people. So we worked with Open Age and the local residents association to use St Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to bring older people out of their homes and get to know their neighbours.

“We also promoted some of the services and activities available. For example, Open Age runs a wide range of activities from our community halls such as jewellery and card making, knitting and meditation.”

As a special treat, local residents’ association member, Bruce Harrison, ran one of his legendary bingo games. A free raffle rounded off the successful event with prizes donated by CityWest Homes and Open Age, which also included Irish goodies.

Vicky commented: “It was really nice to see that the event attracted many residents from other communities, not just Irish descendants, and everyone fully embraced the Irish theme.

“Many of the people who came along didn’t know about what services were available to them. After this event, we will explore more fun ways to help combat isolation in the area.”

Pictured: Local singer, Gary, belts out Irish favourite, "It's a long way to Tipperary".

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