(Pictured: Comunity Navigator Volunteers – Kim McGovern & Ann Hawkins)
On Thursday 5 April, the Community Navigator Project and the Phoenix Project IOW celebrated their two year anniversary of their coffee morning which brings members of the community together. Celebrations included decorating party hats, playing party games and pass the parcel along with delicious homemade food and of course cake.
The Community Navigator Project is an Age Friendly Island project funded by the Big Lottery which aims to reduce social isolation in adults aged 50+ by connecting people to out and about activities which meet their social interests while promoting independence and well being. They do this through networking within communities, identifying individuals, taking referrals and working with volunteers.
Judith Stratton is the Community Navigator for the East Wight area and she set up the coffee morning to help those over 50 attend a social activity, which could help build confidence and self-esteem and encourage communities to work together.
She is supported by two volunteers who attended the social activities for their own self-improvement and now help others to enjoy them.
Ann Hawkins helps at the Brading Roman Villa coffee morning and the Off Key Community Choir. She volunteers at the Phoenix Project IOW coffee morning and she came along to the Birthday celebration with games and lots of smiles to make it a fun and happy event.
Kim McGovern was also supported by Judith to get out to social activities and she now helps in her community including at the Community Café held at the Methodist Church in Brading.
Kim is a regular visitor to the Phoenix Project IOW and enjoys helping at the coffee mornings, because of an extra special moment. On 6 October 2016 Kim went along to one of the coffee mornings only to discover that her long-lost cousin Phil was there. She hadn’t seen him since she was 7 years old, but to see that Phil was happy being supported by the Phoenix Project IOW which provides a specialist service for adults with learning disabilities, made her day.
(Pictured: Judith – in the centre, Kim – to the right and Phil – on the left)
Celebrating these special moments is made possible thanks to National Lottery players and the funding from the Big Lottery Fund. The Age Friendly Island projects, led by Age UK IW is an Ageing Better partnership which supports people in later life by creating new and enjoyable ways for them to be actively involved in their communities.
For more details about social activities in your area, you can contact one of the Community Navigators:
West Wight – Freshwater
Tel: 07736 151626
South Wight – Ventnor
Tel: 07736 151630
East Wight – Brading
Tel: 07736 151632