I was delighted to join the team as Social Events Coordinator at Southern Befrienders in January 2017.

In the past 6 months I’ve spent time developing relationships with the team, its members & volunteers and discovering how everything works.

There are currently 45 social members on our list, most of these actively attend our social events, some may just come to the occasional lunch and approximately 20 attend events on a weekly basis.

15 of those members also benefit from 1 to 1 befriending.S

We try to vary our social events as much as possible to suit and include all members. Our recent events include quizzes, bingo, lunches, films and sing-a-longs.

In November last year, a ‘Bingo and lunch’ session was introduced and has proved to be so popular it has continued on the second Tuesday of every month.

This social event is open to people of all age groups, not just our members, as we recognise that people do not need to be older to feel isolated.

We have therefore enjoyed the company of several non-members over the months, and even the local constabulary as part of their community work.

We try to introduce seasonal dates as much as possible and have so far enjoyed haggis for Burn’s day, Valentine’s Day themed Lunch, Irish stew for St Patrick’s Day and an Easter themed lunch along with themed bingo games and quizzes.

Whilst being enjoyable for our members on a social level, introducing specific dates also serves the additional purpose of aiding with orientating those with memory problems to the time of the year.   

Following on from my predecessor’s success, lunches have continued to be very popular. We’ve visited most of the local cafes and hostelries in the South of the Island with more on the horizon for the summer months.

As a change from eating out, at Easter we had a fun filled ‘crafty lunch’ at Thie Rosein with our members getting stuck into (literally!) making Easter bonnets.

In TT practice week we held a film show with lunch at Reayrt Y Chrink, showing the classic George Formby film ‘No Limit’, complete with burger & chips.

In recent months we’ve visited Rowany golf club, The Falcon’s Nest, The Station, The Sidings, Bradda Glen, The Shore, Paddy’s Chippy diner in Port St Mary, Port Erin Chippy Diner and The Whitestone in Ballasalla.

Some of our highlights:-

In April we enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea at The Falcon’s Nest in Port Erin, there was so much food we all took a box home for tea!

In May we had a lovely outing on the steam train from Port Erin to the Sidings in Castletown for lunch, it was enjoyed by everyone and we are planning a further trip into Douglas later in the summer.

Our numbers at these events have grown steadily reaching 22 at one event at The Sidings. We virtually took over the place but the food & service as always was fabulous!

We have lunches booked at The Bay in Port Erin and Silverdale and we’re always on the lookout for somewhere different!

(Have a look in The Gallery for some photos of recent events)

In the coming months we’ll be planning some new, varied and exciting activities for Thursday afternoons including craft sessions, reminiscence sessions, music therapy and sing-a-longs.

Keep checking back for updates

Our programme is planned bi monthly with July & August now in progress.

If you’d like to book, receive a copy of our programme or would like more information about any of our events please contact us.

Viv Edge

Social Events Coordinator