Cash boost for Leeds elderly group

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OLDER residents in the Gipton area have been making some noise after receiving a cash boost from Comic Relief.

Action for Gipton Elderly (AGE) received grant of £800 to help pay for a range of games, CDs and musical instruments.

Other groups in Leeds are also being urged to grab a share of the YEP-backed Sport Relief Community Cash fund, which this year is a cashpot of £75,000.

Speaking about the members, centre manager Karen Woloszczak said: “They’re really into music. It’s like a nightclub in here some afternoons, a real party atmosphere.

“Those who can’t sing play tambourines and triangles and the people get up to dance – we had a pair in their 90s jiving last week! They know how to enjoy themselves.”

She added: “Taking part in crafts and music helps with dexterity, a sense of achievement and removing feelings of isolation.”

The community-based charity has been working for 20 years to keep its local elderly out of residential care and in their own homes.

AGE has around 1,800 local residents on its database, all aged over 60, with many in their 80s and 90s.

Up to 100 people use the centre every week, attending lunches, clubs and activities, and staff make home visits, offering essential care and support, advice and promoting independent living.

Karen added: “We make sure they’re receiving the right benefits, help them budget, make hospital visits – basically we become the family that they don’t necessarily have.”

Some of the residents have suffered serious illness, such as strokes and heart problems, and most of those attending the centre’s Memory Lane Group have dementia.

The Sport Relief Community Cash fund gives grants of between £500 and £1,000 to small organisations in Leeds that are helping local people who are living tough lives. To apply for a grant, visit before March 4.

Jess Carmichael.

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