‘The Wednesday Gang’ – a lifeline for older tenants
“Loneliness is a problem among the older generation and sometimes you need a purpose in life”; that’s according to one of our tenants in Father Mulvey Park, a sheltered housing scheme in Derry/Londonderry.
Every Wednesday, a group of tenants from the scheme get together for an Afternoon Tea Club and have dubbed themselves ‘The Wednesday Gang’. The group of around fourteen tenants meet every week for a cup of tea and a chinwag, and once a month they host a speaker from a relevant group or organisation.
Gráinne Nugent, member of The Wednesday Gang, explains how the group started and outlines the activities they have enjoyed to date:
Back in the summer of 2018 a few of the residents and myself got chatting and we decided to run an Afternoon Tea Club to encourage us all to meet our neighbours. We are a very lively group of people and look forward to our gatherings every week. Now we are friends, instead of just neighbours.
You could describe us as ‘recycled teenagers’ and every week we have a cup of tea and a chat. We also organise bingo, quizzes, chair aerobics and food tasting. Every month we have a guest speaker come along to give us important information or advice. In the past we’ve had a pharmacist, community warden and a representative from Arthritis Care.
Father Mulvey Park is situated on Westland Terrace in Derry/Londonderry, in a quiet location close to the city centre. It offers sheltered accommodation for independent living for tenants over 60 years of age. Bredge Shettle, Scheme Manager, is available on site Monday to Friday 9am-5pm with Fold Telecare services providing cover outside of these times.
Gráinne Nugent praised the scheme and the support available:
Father Mulvey Park is a fantastic place to live in. We have an excellent manager in Bredge who goes the extra mile to make sure all her tenants are supported if they need any help. Loneliness is a problem among the older generation and sometimes you need a purpose in life; a lifeline, and I feel this club goes a long way to filling the void. Even though our bodies change, our minds are very active!
The Wednesday Gang is currently having a summer break and will resume on the first Wednesday in September. The Autumn programme will feature a Macmillan Coffee Morning, a speaker from the PSNI, an adult safeguarding event and a Halloween Tea Party.
For more information about Father Mulvey Park, or The Wednesday Gang, please contact Bredge Shettle on 028 7126 9064.