A new initiative has been launched to help older people feel less isolated.
Whitehouse Farm, near Morpeth, has created Hay Days to encourage new friendships and tackle isolation through a regular programme of events and social activities.
The first event, a tea dance on VE Day, was supported by Blyth-based Legrand Assisted Living & Healthcare, which brought more than 80 service users and their carers from a number of care homes and community groups.
Dawn Peters, a trained carer and events co-ordinator at Whitehouse Farm Centre, said: “The aim of Hay Days is to bring isolated community groups, people living in sheltered accommodation and care homes across the region together to take part in weekly and monthly activities, which encourage new friendships and tackle isolation through fun, social events hosted on the farm.
“Even though some experience physical or mental infirmities, age should not be a barrier to meeting people and enjoying new experiences. The feedback we have received has been phenomenal and clearly demonstrates there is a need for this type of service in the community.”
Attendees at the VE Day-themed launch danced and sang along with talented vintage singing sensation Kayley Cares. They were then treated to a tasty lunch by the farm’s catering team, which was followed by a tour of the farm.
In order to minimise the cost of running Hay Days events and activities to ensure they are affordable for people, Whitehouse Farm is receiving support from Legrand Assisted Living & Healthcare.
Chris Dodd, Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this fantastic initiative.
“Hay Days aims to tackle many of the key issues that are prevalent within our market, given that our products and services are designed to empower individuals to be safe, happy and independent in their own environments.”
The next Hay Days event is Rookie Golf with Smile Through Sport, the not for profit organisation led by Paralympian Stephen Miller MBE, on June 6.