Examiner Community Award: Community Project of the Year – Young at Heart in Newsome
May 25 2010 by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
DOZENS of older people are able to spend time out of their homes thanks to the tireless efforts of Jean Goodison.
The committed community activist set up Young at Heart in Newsome six years ago with Celia Clark and Kath Stewart.
The organisation holds a monthly activity session for elderly people at Newsome Working Men’s Club.
Jean, who lives in Newsome, said: “The three of us started off knocking on doors in Primrose Hill, Berry Brow and Newsome. We were trying to find elderly people who were isolated and lonely so we could help them.
“It was quite surprising that we got such a good response just from knocking on a few doors.”
After signing up around 50 older people, the three then went to Kirklees Council looking for funding for their new project called Young at Heart.
The group meets on the first Thursday of the month at Newsome Working Men’s Club on St John’s Avenue.
Jean said: “We started by offering people the chance to come out of their homes, have a cup of tea and meet some new people.”
Young at Heart has grown in the last six years and now has 80 members, including residents from care homes such as Newsome Nursing Home on Tunnacliffe Road.
Jean added: “We get people who have been recommended to us by doctors and health visitors because they know that it’s good to get out and mix with others.”
Young at Heart also offers more activities these days.
Jean said: “We have people who give talks on all kinds of things, like Guide Dogs for the Blind. We also have country and western music sometimes.”
Jean is one of seven committee members for Young at Heart. The group is supported by Kirklees which provided £4,500 of funding.
Jean added: “We’re going for more funding at the moment but things are very tight.”