‘The Wednesday Gang’ hailed as a lifeline for older Apex tenants
“Loneliness is a problem among the older generation and sometimes you need a purpose in life”; that’s according to one of the tenants in Father Mulvey Park, an sheltered housing scheme in Derry owned by Apex Housing Association.
Every Wednesday, a group of tenants from the scheme get together for an Afternoon Tea Club and have dubbed themselves ‘The Wednesday Gang’.
The group of around 14 tenants meets every week for a cup of tea and a chinwag, and once a month they host a speaker from a relevant group or organisation.
Gráinne Nugent, member of The Wednesday Gang, said: “Back in the summer of 2018 a few of the residents and myself got chatting and we decided to run an Afternoon Tea Club to encourage us all to meet our neighbours. We are a very lively group of people and look forward to our gatherings every week. Now we are friends, instead of just neighbours. You could describe us as ‘recycled teenagers’ and every week we have a cup of tea and a chat. We also organise bingo, quizzes, chair aerobics and food tasting. Every month we have a guest speaker come along to give us important information or advice. In the past we’ve had a pharmacist, community warden and a representative from Arthritis Care.”
Father Mulvey Park is situated on Westland Terrace and offers sheltered accommodation for independent living for tenants over 60 years of age. Bredge Shettle, Scheme Manager, is available on site Monday to Friday 9am-5pm with Fold Telecare services providing cover outside of these times.
Gráinne added: “Father Mulvey Park is a fantastic place to live. We have an excellent manager in Bredge who goes the extra mile to make sure all her tenants are supported if they need any help. Loneliness is a problem among the older generation and sometimes you need a purpose in life; a lifeline, and I feel this club goes a long way to filling the void. Even though our bodies change, our minds are very active!” The Wednesday Gang is currently having a summer break and will resume on the first Wednesday in September. For more information, contact Bredge Shettle on 02871269064.