Rod, aged 70, has been attending social clubs with Manchester Cares for over a year. Always willing to give things a go, he's tried plenty of activities from song-writing to cocktail making and is a regular at our monthly pub quiz.
We recently chatted to him to get to know him a little better and find out why enjoys being part of our community network.
I moved to Manchester in 1994, so I’ve lived here for about 26 years. My favourite part of Manchester is Old Trafford – because it’s nice and mixed (not too posh!), it’s green, and has an old Victorian feel to it. It’s brilliant as there are lots of trees, but it’s only a mile and a half from the city centre.
I first got involved with Manchester Cares when I was given some information about them and discovered they provided social activities for people over 65. I thought that it was something really nice I could do. The beauty of it is there might be 15 things you could go to in a month, but you may just pick the 5 you like, meaning you can get company when you want company.
When you first go you don’t know anybody there, but over time you recognise people. The more you go, the more people you know, and there are always new people coming each time, so there are plenty of people to socialise with. It gets me out and about and I’ve been to all kinds of things: factory visits, theatre trips, museums and art galleries!
The first social club I went to was a visit to Manchester Art Gallery, which was really good! We looked at pieces of art, spoke about our different opinions, and met the staff who provided more context on things like how some pieces had come into the gallery’s possession. If I went around on my own, I wouldn’t have experienced any of that!
My favourite social club is the pub quiz, they’re really good fun, sociable, and the quiz element takes the pressure off coming up with conversation topics! Another favourite was a business visit to a factory that made signs. At first I thought ‘what the hell are we going to a sign factory for?’, but it was really interesting and we all came home with some personalised table mats! The things they showed us were very interesting, but the best bit was the socialising.
And that’s the most important thing about Manchester Cares for me, if I had to boil it down. It’s a lovely thing to belong to. A social group that you can dip in and out of and a great opportunity to go out and socialise with other people - something you don’t always get to do when you’re older.
It’s quite well named really, Manchester Cares, you feel really cared for and looked after.
Posted by on Tuesday 21st January 2020