Vibrant place for the over 50s

Ilse Burn, Joyce Gonsalves and Rosa Livadic at the Age UK day centre in Morpeth.
Ilse Burn, Joyce Gonsalves and Rosa Livadic at the Age UK day centre in Morpeth.

Age UK Morpeth Day Centre

AGE UK Northumberland’s day centre in Morpeth is a vibrant place for people over 50 to relax and meet friends, from all over the world as it happens.

The club, which is run every Monday from 10.30am to 1.30pm, and hosts a lunch club on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am to 1.30pm, is the best day out of the week for many of the attendees, who mix like they have known each other for most of their lives.

In reality, a number of the attendees are from much further flung shores, including Romania, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Ninety-year-old Ilse Burn joined the club a number of months ago. From East Germany, Ilse came here after the war in 1945, marrying Morpeth man Roy Burn. Now a widow, Ilse’s son Gary, who is 60, lives in France, so she very much enjoys the support of Age UK Northumberland, and also has a carer who visits her at home.

Ilse loves playing dominos and is often pitched against Spaniard Rosa Livadic.

Rosa, 89, moved to Morpeth from Valencia in 1952 when her sister found her work at a doctor’s house in Jesmond. She married her husband Glimero, who was Yugoslavian, and worked at the pit in Ashington. She has one son, Francisco (Frank) and although she sees him a lot she loves to come and meet her friends on a Monday.

Rosa said: “I am very happy here, I like the food and the dominos, and have fun talking with so many people with so many different languages.”

Joyce Gonsalves is 86 and originally from South India. An educated lady, Joyce was an English and Geography lecturer in Bangalor and she has been part of the group, which is held at St James’s’ Church Hall, for four years. She came to the UK with her husband Ronald and has a daughter Veronica, who she now lives with. The group offers Joyce the chance to get out on her own and give her daughter a break, whilst doing her own thing.

Newest of the four is Luiza Gancivlescy. Luiza isn’t a client of the day service though, she is a much needed volunteer. Luiza has married a British man and is very well travelled. She is about to start a degree in Language Therapy and in between helps Age UK Northumberland by volunteering her time.

More information on the day services and lunch clubs, which welcome more clients and always need more volunteers, is available by visiting www.ageuk.org.uk/northumberland or by calling 0845 1400 088.