Some twelve months ago Terry Romanoff and Karl Cockram became involved in volunteer community work. Their work has inspired a community
This is their story----
We were invited to a charity event raising money for Christie's etc. This is where we met Dorothy the organizer. We had won on the raffle a free meal for two. During the week whilst having coffee, Dorothy was present relaxing at the same coffee bar discussing what her next venture would be or to maybe start another group. At the time i was just coming out of a depression of my own from moving back here from Spain, which i found very hard to adapt. So as i thought it might be a great idea, I offered my services to help with the group. As Dorothy had so many things on the go, she had the faith in me and asked me to actually run the group to which i agreed. Having gone through depression myself, I knew there was help out there if looking in the right places etc.
Then the name of the group would be formed................"ECCLES FOREVER YOUNG" was born to which is now running still some 12 months later.
The aim of the group is to enhance people's lives to the full and have fun. This is where the ,"Bingo, Card Bingo" and "Play your Cards Right" ,The group "Eccles Forever Young" or "EFY" as i like to call it concentrates mainly on having fun and (for the want of a better word) forcing the community to meet together on a regular basis to chat and relax over a cuppa but most importantly have FUN. All our member enjoy the afternoon and are happy to help in any way they can. ie. donating prizes etc etc. Everyone involved are mixing and integrating and even appearing in the shows we put on. This is usually once a month. Recently we have changed to once every two months. The work involved is very intense but so worth the result and to see people having a smile of their face. If just one person out of the 28 members walks away with a smile on their face each week and want to come back, thats my job done. I don't actually see it as work as they really appreciate everything that is put into the group and the shows collectively. These members over the past 12 months have now become very good friends they are still young at heart but the age range of these members vary from 20s-90s.
Every 2 months intergrated are the three groups. Eccles Forever Young, Barton Ladies and Engels Tara to put an amazing show together and as there are no members that actually singing i thought miming could be an option and it really does work and keeps the members so occupied that in most cases they forget al their worries for that short period. This HAS to be a good thing for them.
During ticket sales, over the last 12 months, word of mouth also has become a powerful tool, they sell like hot cakes and therefore advising members friends etc to get them early to avoid disappointment.
A lot of our members have noticed a change in their confidence. One member for sure their has been a significant difference who never ventured out and has many problems of her own but now is dealing with them in a more positive way as she is becoming a very strong lady indeed.
Our future of the group has been decided by myself and the members and to carry on doing what we are with the shows, the games.
The new hub here in Barton Village Eccles is opening soon and will be able to open more options for us as the new venue holds and seat nearly twice as many, so looking for new member who want to make new friends, play bingo, and even be in a show. Everyone from any age is more that welcome to join us.
Every Wednesday, 2pm-4pm at the Barton Village Community Centre, Enfield Close, Eccles