As many as 150 older men in West London who are affected by isolation and loneliness will be taking part in a variety of social activities including IT classes for beginners, walking groups, gardening and cookery sessions thanks to a project part funded by a £60,000 grant from London Freemasons to the charity Open Age.
Open Age men’s walking football team with Russell John ‘Men’s Space Project Coordinator’ who leads on the programme –third person from the right, Adrian Fox London Masons Rep -2nd from right.
The Open Age’s Men’s Space Project, aimed at men over the age of 50 in Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster also runs very popular walking football sessions for those who love the beautiful game.
Older men often find it more difficult to engage with organisations like Open Age, making it much harder to reach and support them. Often, they may live alone and experience loneliness after the death of a spouse, while others are struggling to adjust to retirement or have health conditions that make socialising difficult.
Many Men’s Space members join the group experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, often having declined engagement with similar organisations. Some are unpaid carers for a family member or friend, which can make it more difficult for them to socialise.