Shortly after being made redundant from a high level management job in IT, David became a carer for his mother when she was diagnosed with dementia. David cared for her up until last year when she sadly passed away, which left him feeling that he had become isolated and lacking purpose in life.
A diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes encouraged David to change his lifestyle, and after responding to an advert from Ageless Thanet, he joined their free eight week New Age Kurling wellbeing activity.
David had played curling whilst at school and unfortunately hadn’t been able to play since due to their only being one ice rink in the UK where you can play it. New Age Kurling is a form of the original curling game, but it has been adapted so it can be played indoors on a smooth, flat surface such as a sports hall floor, rather than on ice.
The activity was a great success and, after the eight weeks, the participants decided they wanted to keep the group going. David, alongside another participant, Ian, agreed to form a club and continue the sessions. Through applying to the Ageless Thanet Community Fund they were able to purchase more equipment and marketing material to help the group to grow.
David said: “The kurling club, which I am now the chair and treasurer of, has allowed me to meet new people. We have quickly established a hard core of a dozen or so people who meet for two hours every Wednesday, where we have a competitive but friendly series of games.
“This has provided motivation, purpose and most importantly joy. Who know where this will go – we are already in discussions with other clubs and the UK governing body. The whole kurling club concept has got me fired up and re-energised – awaking old skills and providing a major sense of purpose, responsibility and also facilitating the establishment of new and exciting friendships. None of this would have been possible without the initial initiative from Ageless Thanet.”
Ageless Thanet, led by Social Enterprise Kent, is part of Ageing Better, a programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund. Ageing Better aims to develop creative ways for older people to be actively involved in their local communities, helping to combat social isolation and loneliness.
The next group of eight week wellbeing activities are due to start at the end of this month and include a huge variety, including: mindfulness, walking netball, Pilates, photography, art, body groove, and many more! If you would like to find out more information about these free Ageless Thanet wellbeing activities, please visit the website at www.agelessthanet.org.uk or call 07718 485 266, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanet New Age Kurling Club meet on Wednesdays, 10am-12pm, at Hartsdown Leisure Centre in Margate. The cost is £3 a session. If you would like to find out more about the group, please email David at email@example.com.