Covid-19 has given many of us cause to reflect on life, loss, social connectivity and, perhaps, the things we’d like to do differently now the world is slowly starting to open up to us again.
During lockdown you may have flicked through Shine magazine, a new publication from Time to Shine and Leeds Older People’s Forum, and read about Walter’s exploits on a canal barge as a member of Float Your Boat. Or Gareth, from The Great Outdoors, giving advice on ‘growing your own’. Or Dot’s story about how great she feels after each Bollywood dance class she attends.
All these (and many more) Time to Shine projects have continued to support and keep in touch with their older participants and volunteers throughout the pandemic, albeit in a new, socially-distanced way. That’s great for those who had their foot in the door before the world turned upside down in March – but what about those who hadn’t got that far? What if people want to get involved now?
It can be really difficult to take that first step to connect with an organisation, as a participant or a volunteer, particularly if you don’t know anyone who attends already. Will I like the people there? Will they like me? Are the sessions there too active, too fast, too slow, too dull?
Time to Shine has gathered together stories from participants and volunteers, so you can hear first-hand from some of the thousands of older people who have been involved in Time to Shine since 2015. Real stories about real people that illustrate how and why they got involved in Time to Shine and in other local projects, and how they feel as a result.
So if you’re over 50 and your new post-lockdown resolution list includes things like seizing the day, meeting new people, learning new skills, volunteering to help others in your community or getting fit then it’s likely there’s a Time to Shine project ready and waiting to welcome you as a member. If you’re aged 49 or under you’re not missing out: you can still join Time to Shine as a volunteer and there’s a huge range of roles on offer.
The whole ethos of Time to Shine is to help people get involved and connect with each other, with the aim of reducing feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Most activities are free and you’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome when you join a project.
Call 0113 244 1697 to talk to a member of the Time to Shine team about the range of projects in Leeds so we can help you find something that interests you. We may be able to put you in touch with someone who is already involved in the project so you can find out more from them, if you wish.
Alternatively, please see summaries of all Time to Shine projects and their contact details.
Time to Shine Monitoring and Evaluation Officer