Bolton Wanderers Community Trust has continued to support its Extra Time members during the current pandemic.
The project is funded through Sport England’s Active Ageing fund from the National Lottery and aims to make a positive difference to how people enjoy their later years by bringing them together using the University of Bolton Stadium as the central hub.
Usually members of the project would meet weekly at the stadium for opportunities to socialise, meet new people and take part in a number of activities. However, with this not being possible due to the lockdown restrictions and with a number of the members classed as ‘vulnerable’ and having to shield themselves, the Community Trust was determined to maintain engagement with them.
A WhatsApp and Facebook group was set up for the members to connect with each other, with phone calls being made to each member to check on their wellbeing. There are weekly Zoom virtual meetings taking place which provides an opportunity to take part in activities such as bingo and quizzes. As restrictions ease gradually the Community Trust has connected members that live locally to one another who wanted to go on social walks whilst observing social distancing.
Carl Halliwell, Active Ageing Development Officer for Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, said “We had to adapt our delivery quickly to support our members, and continue to look at ways to ensure people do not become isolated during this difficult period. Sometime a phone call or seeing a friendly face, even if through Zoom can really provide the pickup that some need. We are committed to One Club, One Community, One Town”