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Calling older West Ham fans: free football programmes starting soon

Filed: Wednesday, 11th October 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham fan? Aged 65 or over? Like the idea of sharing your memories of the club or learning more about the team?

If so, the charity Friends of the Elderly and West Ham United Foundation invite you to connect with others, using your shared love of football as a starting point.

Together they have been running successful, five-week programmes called Any Old Irons, based at the East Ham Working Men’s Club.

Run in conjunction with the Premier League (PL) and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), these give participants the opportunity to connect with other fans and people in their community, bringing them together for fun and friendship.

During the programme, there will be the opportunity to share stories about the club, hear guest speakers, enjoy a stadium tour and learn digital skills to help you stay connected online.

Groups of Any Old Irons participants have also recently enjoyed outings such as boat trip down the River Lee, watching a cricket match at Lord’s, and a day trip to Southend.

• There will be new, five-week Any Old Irons programmes starting on 25 October 2017 and 17 January 2018.

• If you would like to join in, or find out more, you can contact Friends of the Elderly on 0330 332 111 or hello@fote.org.uk.

• You can also find out more at: www.fote.org.uk/our-charity-work/football-friends/

Steve Maynard, was one of the first to take part in Any Old Irons. He enjoyed it, and also found that it helped him deal with the recent loss of his mother to dementia, so he has become a regular volunteer.

Steve, who was born in East Ham but who now lives in Hadleigh, Essex says: "My message to other men, even if they are not a West Ham supporter, is to come along, especially if they are feeling lonely. "It’s always a friendly group of warm people and there’s a great atmosphere."

Meanwhile, recent Any Old Irons participant Zena had a great time too, even though she confesses to not being an expert on the beautiful game!

She says: "I don’t know much about football, but I went to a couple of matches in my younger days, and I’d call myself a West Ham fan. I love coming to meetings and talking about the old times.

"I don’t have children and I lost my husband last year, so I think that it is very important to have something like Any Old Irons happening locally – if you sit indoors, you can think you are on your own, but this means you are not alone."

Embed from Getty Images

Friends of the Elderly

Founded in 1905, Friends of the Elderly is one of the UK’s oldest (registered) charities supporting older people. The charity’s vision is a society where all older people are treated with respect and have the opportunity to lead fulfilled lives.

The charity provides support for all older people, particularly those in need due to mental or physical frailty, isolation or poverty. Its range of personalised care and support services includes care homes, befriending schemes and grants.

Volunteering opportunities through the charity are available on an individual and staff programme basis across a number of services. For more information please visit the Friends of the Elderly website at www.fote.org.uk.

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