New social group launches for Exeter's elderly

Older people in Exeter are set to benefit from a new weekly social event thanks to an initiative launched by students at the University of Exeter.


Senior Socials At St Sidwell’s (SSASS) will provide the City’s over 60s with a chance to meet new friends and enjoy tea, cake and regular activities ranging from computer lessons and Wii Games to arts and crafts.


The weekly event is open to anyone aged over 60 and takes place every Wednesday 2pm-3.30pm at the St Sidwell’s Community Centre on Sidwell Street, Exeter.


A launch event tea party will take place on Thursday January 26th between 2-4pm. And the first session on 1st February will be a “Bingo and Boules” afternoon.


SSASS is being set up by a group of students from Community Action, the University of Exeter Students’ Guild volunteering group.


"Getting older can be lonely and when Exeter becomes dominated by the large student population in term time this can be intimidating for the local residents,” says SSASS Project Leader Sophie Myers. “SSASS has been set up to provide a friendly environment for the elderly members of the community which will hopefully encourage friendships to form both between those attending and with the student volunteers. We hope SSASS really makes a difference in the local community of Exeter,” she adds.


The sessions will start with tea and cake followed by games or skills, such as learning to Skype so grandparents can stay in touch with their grandchildren. The first session on Wednesday 1st February will be a ‘Bingo and Boules’ afternoon.


SSASS will complement Community Action’s SWITCH project, where students visit the residents of Eaton House every Thursday for tea, cake and activities.


While anyone is welcome to just turn up, those wanting to come along are encouraged to register their interest by calling 01392 723561 or emailing Participants will pay £1 ‘subs’ each week to cover costs.


The St Sidwell’s community centre is located on Sidwell Street in the heart of Exeter. It aims to build a stronger, healthier, more inclusive community in Central Exeter by providing  activities, learning opportunities and support services developed with local people and other organisation. 


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University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company limited Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 7217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ