The Grand Day Out is a social club for the over 50s, meeting every Monday at North City Library. We plan a range of activities that include days out, arts & crafts and choir sessions to name a few. The other week we had our first flamenco dance class! There was no move we could not achieve whether it be standing or sitting. Our youngest member is 54 and our oldest is over 80!
We have just one volunteer at the moment (John), who is a post-grad student who initially visited the group for a project he was doing. John loved the group so much he asked to get involved and has since organised sessions including healthy talking/debating and tai chi.
Places we have visited in Manchester include Manchester Art Gallery, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Lowry Museum, Central Library and The Palace Theatre. We’ve also been on days out to places in Greater Manchester too such as Bolton Museum, Boundary Mill and lots of garden centres. At Christmas we have a special outing and meet up with other Age Friendly groups.
Earlier this year we secured £3000 from the NHS Wellbeing Fund for the group – this will help to pay for the minibus transport we need although sometimes we use the metrolink. The group has a lunch trip booked next week and a trip to Stockport Plaza, followed by a trip to see a show the week after.
A couple of our ladies who attend have told us how they feel about coming to the group:
‘Being part of the Grand Day Out group has helped my mental well being, I have suffered anxiety and depression and coming to group has helped me. I have also made new friends so I no longer feel alone’
‘What I love most about the group is how friendly and welcoming they are and how the library staff organise some wonderful trips for us. We are able to visit places we would not go to alone, so we feel it broadens our cultural experiences. Our favourite trip we went to recently was HOME in Manchester. The team there have offered us tickets for shows and to use in the cinema. It was so easy to get there by tram too!’Niall Batty (Neighbourhood Engagement and Delivery Officer) also helps out with the group and if anyone needs more information they can contact Niall or myself by email (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) or phone: 0161 227 3780