A weekly social session for older people in Codsall, run by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, is proving a huge success.
"It has really helped me to regain my confidence and I thank everyone involved for their help in bringing me back to life."
Clarence Owen from Busy Minds, Codsall
The Busy Minds group has been running since summer 2010 and around 35 older persons attend each week to socialise, learn about fire safety, play games and have a cup of tea. The group meet every Tuesday from 11am to 1pm at Bilbrook House, behind Codsall Fire Station on Carter Lane, Bilbrook.
Clarence Owen credits the group with helping to rebuild his confidence since losing his wife six years ago. He said: "I had been something of a recluse until it was suggested I join the Busy Minds sessions. It has really helped me to regain my confidence and I thank everyone involved for their help in bringing me back to life."
Older people are referred into the group by local partners such as the Community Safety Partnership however the sessions are open to all older people and the group are encouraging new members to attend.
South Staffordshire Risk Reduction Officer, Katherine Staples said: "We encourage any older person to come along to one of the sessions and see how they can benefit.
"It is an informal gathering each week to allow local people to make new friends and take part in a range of fun activities as well as learning about fire safety. We are keen to ensure the older and more vulnerable members of our community stay safe this winter and would love to welcome some new faces to the group."
Ken and Pat Lilley attend the sessions every week and look forward to catching up with the other members: "We both look forward to Tuesdays; Busy Minds is an excellent meeting place for older people who wish to keep active both physically and mentally," they said, "We enjoy chatting to others over coffee, playing games, doing crafts and other activities. Tuesday mornings have become a special day to all of the members."
Another Busy Minds member, Jean Howell added: "I have made new friends attending Busy Minds and have started doing new activities. The outings are much appreciated, in particular the visit to Llandudno was the first time I had seen the sea in two years, Busy Minds is a life line."
Anyone interested in joining the Busy Minds group in Codsall can contact Katherine Staples on 01785 898795 for more information.