Time to Shine’s local evaluator, CIRCLE, recently spent time with the Lychee Red Senior Project to learn more about participants’ experience—what they have gained so far and what they would like like to see develop in the future.
Lychee Red meets every Monday at a community centre in Beeston. Mandarin and Cantonese speakers come together to share a meal, chat, play games, get creative with calligraphy and poetry, and most importantly sing together. The singing came about somewhat accidentally, in that the project worker observed a few seniors idly singing along to some background music and then turned it into an organised weekly activity which has resulted in some performances at events around Leeds.
Members describe Lychee Red as “being part of a big family,” and one said, “I wish every day was Monday.” Many people do not live in the area and take one or two buses to get there each week. Expanding the project to have satellite locations is something they would consider if there were enough resource available.
Lychee Red has partnered with Belle Isle Family Centre to host a Chinese Cinema club, and this will hopefully continue into the future. They have also worked with Mary Sunley House, an Anchor property where many Chinese seniors live, to do a monthly Chinese lunch. (With singing, of course!)
This project is a great example of how Time to Shine is working to break down social isolation and loneliness across the city, including leaving a lasting legacy of partnership working and sustainability. Health for All is always looking for other funding opportunities so that the great work can continue far into the future. We’re very proud of how it’s developed and look forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Read the full report from CIRCLE here.