Thursday 3rd September saw Riverside Bowl’s very own ‘Bowling Goldies’ group return to Andover’s ten-pin bowling facility for the first time since March and after lockdown imposed by COVID-19.
Originated over 3 years ago by local charity Valley Leisure Ltd in association with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Older People’s Mental Health Team, Bowling Goldies was set up to enable older adults space to get together, socialise, meet new people, play cards and read the paper to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Early on, the group indicated a keen desire to have a go at ten-pin bowling, some of them for the very first time in their lives. The group has gone from strength to strength with an average weekly attendance of 18 people.
Ahmet aged 81 years is a regular and joined the group 3 years ago after seeing a poster on a community notice board in Andover town centre.
My wife died over three years ago; the highlight of our week was doing the shopping. After she died, I had nothing to do and no-one to see. I saw the poster and thought the group might be a way for me to meet some new people.”
Bowling Goldies has made such a difference to my life. I look forward to bowling each week as it is my only outing and breaks up my week. I have made new friends and now have a social life of my own. I find myself chatting to people in the street who I have met through the group.
I would feel quite lonely without this group. We have kept in touch with each throughout lockdown and as soon as restrictions were lifted, we started meeting up again as we had missed each other so much.
Amy Hickey, Team Leader – Sales and Service at Riverside Bowl said:
I feel so proud to work with the Bowling Goldies group, they inspire me each week. I love seeing the difference the group makes for every person, their faces light up with the enjoyment of being together and doing something fun. They look as if they are living and this spreads out to the rest of their lives.
Bowling Goldies takes place every Thursday morning from 11am to 1pm term-times only at Riverside Bowl. New participants are always welcome. Amy suggests popping up to have a look if you are interested in joining the group.
For more information about Bowling Goldies and Riverside Bowl, including our COVID-19 safety measures, new opening hours, pricing and to book call 01264 568192 or visit www.riverside-bowl.co.uk.