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Ashton Road West, Failsworth, Manchester, M35 0UL (Sat Nav M35 0ES)
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In recognition of its outstanding contribution to support the wellbeing of local older people, a ‘coffee and chat’ club in Failsworth has received a £500 donation from the McCarthy Stone Foundation. 

Started by two friends from Oldham, the club provides both support and a friendly meeting place for senior members of the community who might otherwise find themselves isolated. Based at Woodhouses Cricket Club on Medlock Road, the group hosts weekly meetups every Wednesday between 10am and 12pm to help alleviate loneliness by encouraging social interaction over coffee and cake. Alongside treats and chatter, the group also offers ‘sit down yoga’ sessions to help improve physical health and mobility. 

According to Age UK, 1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely  and initiatives like the ‘coffee and chat’ club can help overcome this by encouraging new friendships and improving self-confidence. 

Celebrating two years since its inception, the non-profit group has continuously thrived, with more than 70 locals now meeting at the cricket club every week. It funds all staffing and overheads itself and relies heavily on donations and grants to help keep the club going. Spotting an opportunity to help, the McCarthy Stone Foundation stepped in and donated £500 to be used towards utility bills. 

The donation is just one of several being made as part of the retirement developer’s Happier, Healthier Project which aims to provide financial assistance to community groups that help to support the independence and wellbeing of older people in the area.

Diane Andrews, co-founder of the club, comments: “We want to say huge thank you to the McCarthy Stone Foundation for their generous donation. Anne and I came up with the idea of a coffee and chat group following the pandemic, as we knew many older members of our community hadn’t been out of their house since and felt lonely as a result. 

“The group has become a key part of the Failsworth community, offering a welcoming environment where members can enjoy a brew and the company of like-minded individuals. Our official opening time is 10am, but most of our members are here by 9am, as we often have the heating on, so they like to escape the cold and waste no time in catching up with one another. They’re a great bunch, with our oldest members being 93 and 90. Using McCarthy Stone’s donation, we can continue to offer a safe meeting space for our members.”

The McCarthy Stone Foundation supports grassroots, volunteer led charitable causes that promote the health and wellbeing of older people. It is the independent, registered charity of the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities, McCarthy Stone, which has a new Retirement Living development, Sydney Grange, under construction on Ashton Road West in Failsworth. 

Declan Fishwick, Business Development Manager at McCarthy Stone, comments: “Supporting and engaging with the communities close to our developments is a key focus at McCarthy Stone and we are delighted, in partnership with the McCarthy Stone Foundation, to lend a helping hand to the ‘coffee and chat’ club in Failsworth, which has been a prominent feature in the town since its setup in 2022. 

“As a company specialising in the development of friendly and welcoming communities for retirees, the happiness and welfare of older people is at the heart of everything we do. This makes initiatives such as this a great fit for us. We look forward to seeing the group continue its work in supporting the wider community through its range of activities.”