Curo runs 12 Livewell hubs across Bath and North East Somerset to help reduce social isolation and encourage people to engage with their communities.
“It’s proven that people’s physical and mental wellbeing is significantly improved by engaging with others and being part of the community,” says Curo Team Leader Cathy Isaacs.
“Our Livewell Hubs are busy with activities ranging from community lunches and shopping trips through to computer classes and singing with Goldies. We run first aid groups, sewing classes, chair exercise groups, Qi Gong, knit ‘n’ natter, cookery classes, acrylic painting and bingo. And in case that’s not enough, we always encourage people to let us know what they’d like to see happening. My team will always do their best to host specific activities for them.”
Curo residents like Ev (pictured) get involved in organising and running these events: “I love it,” says Ev. “I’ve been living here 16 years and I really enjoy what goes on at the Hubs. I organise the raffles and I usually do the teas too. I’m always coming to Goldies on a Thursday and we’ve started the dinners there now.”
Curo has teamed up with a local charity called Connecting Generations who mobilise university students to run sessions where older people can try out technology like iPads and Amazon Echoes.
Jack is a regular at Curo’s Quebec Livewell Hub in Twerton and took an Android tablet for a test drive at a recent IT taster event. Jack, who is in his nineties, took no time getting to grips with some of the features of the tablet: “You can get Skype on these tablets where you can talk to people abroad – distant relations for example. Or you can do your shopping, access your bank account,” says Jack.
Curo has four Livewell Hubs covering Keynsham and Saltford – at Stirling Way, The Labbott, Carpenters Lane and Wickhouse Close. In Bath, there are Hubs at Haviland Park, Quebec in Twerton, Blagdon Park and Parkhouse. Radstock, Midsomer Norton and the Somer Valley areas are covered by Hubs at Manor Close in Wellow, Hillcrest in Peasdown St John and Pine Court in Radstock.
Patricia Weisberg is one of a team of Curo Livewell Officers who help to make these Hub events possible. “I have the best job in the world,” says Patricia. “Every day I get to make a difference to someone’s life doing little things and I go home with a warm feeling inside!”
Curo provides sheltered housing at subsidised social rents for around 1,800 older people who have access to these hubs. However, the hubs serve as a place for everyone in the community to benefit from activities and events, as Cathy explains: “Our hubs can be accessed by anyone – they’re not solely for Curo’s sheltered housing residents. All our events and activities welcome newcomers and are a relaxed, informal way to try new activities and meet new friends.”
“If you feel you’d like to join any of our events or activities or want to just come along for coffee and a chat, get in touch.”