Life

 

By Hannah McFadyen


A group of pensioners have taken to the ice in their wheelchairs – showing everyone that age really is just a number.

They’re part of a community social support group, but Meg Neilan, who set up and runs the group say that it’s more like a ‘retired youth club’.

 Golden Years/Caters News

The daring elderly members, aged between 75 and 90, go to weekly meetings in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, but lately they’ve started taking up more adventurous challenges.

Along with their wintery experience, they’ve also been to casinos and dog racing and in the future they’ve got super car experiences, wing-walking and skydiving planned.

Meg Neilan, 30, said: “It was brilliant to see them out on the Ice – through these types of activities their health and well being has improved massively.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them – it is a scary thing to do for them, but they all enjoyed it, even the ones who were adamant that they were just coming to watch had a go.

 Golden Years/Caters News

“The only problem was that some of them had just had their hair done and they weren’t best pleased about the snow machine messing up their freshly done hairstyles.

Golden Years group started this year in July and it aims to help older people tackle social isolation, but in the past few months they’ve started to become more adventurous.

“I’m just trying to push the boundaries really and stress the point that just because they’re older, doesn’t mean that can’t do these incredible things.

“Coming up we’ve got Super car experiences, indoor sky diving and hot air balloon rides – anything they want to do I’ll try and arrange for them – as long as it can be tweaked to make it safe for them.

 Golden Years/Caters News

“Before the group many of them were just thinking about how to get through the day and now they feel like they’re part of something and that they’re achieving things again.

“It’s really taken off, and I couldn’t do it without volunteers, they do such brilliant work – we say it’s more like a retired a youth club.

“My nan is the biggest driving force for me, so really it’s down to her. We’ve always had a close relationships and she used to run citizens clubs with my grandad.

Meg has also helped set up other groups in the local area where members have been boating, bowling and paddling.