Dominos helps alleviate loneliness

28 July 2014

Older people living in Rose Hill and Pear Tree, Derby have set up regular Domino Tournaments as a way to help alleviate loneliness and build new friendships in their community thanks to funding from People’s Health Trust.

Through Derby West Indian Community Association (DWICA), older people from black and minority ethnic groups in parts of Derby, have identified and set up activity sessions such as Dominos, classic film screenings and salsa dancing that are encouraging them to meet up regularly with existing and new friends. This is possible thanks to £41,433 which has been awarded to DWICA by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthCalm through The Health Lottery.

George Mighty, Chairman of DWICA, said:

“The prime issue in our community that we wanted to address was loneliness and isolation. We regularly received feedback that our events were 'the only thing keeping me going' and 'why can't you put on more sessions like this', but as a volunteer run association we simply didn’t have the capacity to meet the demand.

“Thanks to this funding, we can now focus on reducing isolation by providing activities chosen by local people in a safe place, where they can mix and have fun with their peers. A game of Dominos, learning basic computer skills, indoor bowls or classic film screenings were just some of the things people wanted to do. We can also get the community to be more active through our dance sessions.”

Over 150 people from the area are expected to benefit from these weekly sessions over a year – with 75 people attending regularly. As well as alleviating loneliness these regular activities are supporting local retired people to utilise their skills and abilities within the community. It is also hoped that involvement in the sessions will help to improve individual health outcomes.

DWICA also organises the annual Caribbean Carnival – a vibrant festival that takes place over 2 days in July. People from the community help to prepare costumes and jewellery each year, including those who attend sessions at the Community Centre.

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