On 10th January we were warmly welcomed to Fishermead Trinity Centre to attend a new project run by Nigerian Community Association Aylesbury CIC called NCAA Wazobia Meetup that tackles isolation amongst senior citizens.
We were greeted by Dayo, the groups leader, who is passionate about the project and the difference it can make to local people.
Any preconceptions I might have had about a seniors meeting session were quickly swept aside as we were introduced to the lively group, broad in age range, who had clearly bonded through the group.
The table was laid out with art material for life drawing, an African board game called Mancla and a woodwork area.
Lillian passed out dumplings as she explained that we had 2 guests sharing their talents at today’s session; the first was an artist who spoke about her work and the benefits art has had to her mental health and wellbeing and the second was an interactive yoga session designed for people of all abilities and mainly focussing around breath.
I’ve been lucky enough to take part in some yoga sessions in my time but this was a whole new approach. For some people, doing a yoga session can be quite a daunting thought, but the eccentric teacher brought his own brand of zen to the session, filling the room with fun and laughter!
The idea behind the group is to develop relationships and support networks. It’s a place where people can chat and discuss anything that’s bothering them with friends, the hope is that by sharing worries they can actively let go of any burdens and feel valued by the wider community.
Dayo, the group leader, explained that even if the group reaches just one person and makes a positive difference to their lives then they would know the project has been a success. In between activities, he managed to catch up with us, sharing his pride in the group, describing the positive change he has seen in the members of the group including; improved confidence, gaining new skills and improved wellbeing.
We certainly had a good time and wish the project every success!