£250k boost for charity helping older people in Kilburn

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Hundreds of older people in Kilburn will be offered opportunities to get active, boost their health and make new friends, thanks to new funding for a community charity. 

Abbey Community Centre, in Belsize Road, will run arts, sport and fitness and health and wellbeing activities, as well as offering volunteering opportunities. 

The activities will be aimed at older people in and around Kilburn at risk of social isolation, age-related impairment, disability or financial disadvantage. 

They are being made possible thanks to a £250,000 grant over five years from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder. 

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “Abbey Community Centre does a fantastic job of providing a really varied mix of activities for older people in their area, allowing them to get out, get active and meet new people. 

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“This funding will provide them with the security of knowing they can continue to play this vital role, which is needed more than ever, with older people in particular affected by isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.” 

The funding will also enable production of ‘Up Your Street’, a community newsletter and health and wellbeing directory, while members also have the chance to sit on a steering group to have their say on what activities are offered.

During the pandemic, the centre has been offering online and telephone support to its members, who it says see improvements in their physical and mental health as a result of taking part in activities.

Paul Fordham, Community Projects Development Manager at Abbey Community Centre, said: “Coming to the centre helps to give people a sense of purpose, to make new friends and try new activities. Rather than being stuck at home, they know they can come here, get a warm welcome and feel part of a community.

“The activities we do such as fitness and art sessions, as well as just being around other people, really benefits our members’ mental and physical health, and we see a real difference in people after they start coming here.”

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