'Village hub' to connect Taieri senior community

Taieri Age Connect start-up group members (from left) Ken Whitcombe, Carolyn Thomas and Margaret...
Taieri Age Connect start-up group members (from left) Ken Whitcombe, Carolyn Thomas and Margaret Black are hoping to spread the word about the new group. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Mosgiel residents and social services are set to create a "village hub'' to give older residents a place to get information about groups and services, and socialise.

The group, Taieri Age Connect, is a collaboration between Presbyterian Support Otago, Age Concern and residents.

It would "revitalise'' Mosgiel senior citizens and use the hall as a drop-in information centre three days a week.

As the group grew, members hoped they could arrange events and activities.

Presbyterian Support Otago community development facilitator Adrienne Henderson said the idea was to give Mosgiel people support, friendship and camaraderie without having to move out of their homes.

"We think lots happens around here but people don't know how to find out about it.''

Start-up group member Ken Whitcombe said it would provide people in the area with a link to social activities and information.

Although it was supported by PSO and Age Concern, the group would be run by its members.

"It will be a group of local people deciding what they want to do, so it's very much user-driven.''

Having the group run by their peers made older people feel more comfortable, he said.

Age Concern executive officer Debbie George said loneliness was an epidemic, and many of the established groups in Mosgiel were "bursting at the seams''.

A special general meeting will be held on March 6 to elect the office bearers and officially change the name to Taieri Age Connect.

The group will be funded by annual $15 membership fees and grants.

• For more information, contact tristan@ageconcernotago.co.nz or phone (03) 479-3058.

JESSICA.WILSON @thestar.co.nz

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