Arts Together through the eyes of a group member
I am 76 years old and live independently in sheltered housing here in Marlborough. On any day of the week I may spend 23 out of the 24 hours on my own with my TV, radio, crosswords and crocheting.
The entertainments and social occasions offered by my place of residence are: Afternoon tea (no cakes or biscuits except on very special occasions such as 90th birthdays) on Monday’s. Bingo in-house on alternate Thursday afternoons. Cards (always Newmarket played with a store of coppers reserved for the purpose) on alternate Thursdays. Fish and chip lunch once a month on a Friday. Those of us who wish for Spiritual care meet in the library once a month when we receive Communion from a member of the local Church.
Several times a year, outings to places or events of interest are arranged, and here lies the heart of my plea for continuation of the provision for myself and my friends to have transport to Arts Together at Lawrence Acre. Without specially adapted transport I cannot get out at all. Several of my friends, although more able- bodied than myself, have difficulty walking any distance and find it impossible to negotiate the steps on public service buses.
As a result of all these factors, allied to disabilities that tend to promote a degree of depression brought on by isolation and boredom we lead very restricted lives, often unable to accompany family or friends to joint celebrations etc.
Arts Together gives us a very special something to look forward to almost every Monday of the year. The guests and volunteers are younger, very enthusiastic and encouraging. We are enabled to experiment with activities we may not have attempted before. Some of our efforts produce much-needed laughter, others provide us with new ongoing interests.
Added to the above, we spend several hours in the company of people who want to be there and enjoy one another’s company. Instead of cold sandwiches and cuppasoup we enjoy a well prepared nourishing two-course lunch at a very affordable cost.
When we return home, if we relax into an afternoon nap (as befits our age) it is not because we are lonely or bored, but because we have used our energies to enjoy ourselves and may even have some worthwhile, useful or decorative item to bring home that will provide a fresh talking point with one’s rare visitors.
I am convinced that Arts Together contributes to the health and welfare of its members. Paying for our transport will be much cheaper than providing hospital care for individuals who have lost the will to live because they can neither use public transport nor afford the expense of private taxis.
NB. There are no Marlborough based taxi firms that are wheelchair friendly!
Sent from my iPad by Marion