Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) will be among the EFL clubs and community trusts coming together on Wednesday to launch a national programme designed to engage retired and semi-retired individuals and combat loneliness in the older generation.
Charlton Athletic legend Keith Peacock will be at CACT’s Extra Time Hub National Launch at The Valley on Wednesday 19 June.
Launched in line with Loneliness Awareness Week, the Extra Time Hubs will harness the unique assets of the football clubs to bring older people together and provide a range of activities that could benefit their physical and mental health.
Studies show that 42% of those over the age of 55 are inactive and would like opportunities to meet peers to feel less isolated, live well and do things they enjoy.
Funded with the support of Sport England’s Active Aging fund from the National Lottery, the programme will initially be delivered by 12 EFL clubs across the country, harnessing the power of football in local communities to bring people together.
Activities at CACT’s Extra Time Hub include singing, table tennis, bowls, new age kurling, bingo, human bingo and exercise for health.
Membership of CACT’s group has grown considerably over the last few months, and representatives from Sport England and the EFL Trust, who – along with the club – have provided key support for the programme, are invited to attend next week.
CACT Extra Time Hub members pay £3 a week or £10 a month to attend.
Charlton Athletic and CACT Ambassador Keith was also a guest at a previous new-look Extra Time Hub session in March.
“It’s so beneficial for a great number of people in the community to be able to have a purpose to their day or week through this type of get together.
“You can join in everything or become a watcher of what’s going on; there’s no pressure. I can’t speak highly enough of Extra Time Hub.”
One of CACT’s Extra Time Hub participants said:
“I’ve made some good friends. As you get chatting and they chat to you then you feel part and parcel of it, you know, and I really enjoy coming. I like the quiz, and the word search, and the bingo... I come here because it's socialising; if I’m not here, I’m just at home.”
Mike Evans, the EFL Trust’s Director of Operations, said:
“We have a BIG ambition – an ambition to help older people to create a national movement of Extra Time Hubs that will make a positive difference to how thousands can enjoy their later years.
“Extra Time Hubs will enable people to decide which activities they want to do and not be prescribed for them as well as giving people the opportunity to meet like-minded people and feel less isolated”.
Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Executive Director for Tackling Inactivity, comments:
“Often it can feel like the barriers to getting active grow as we age. But there are simple changes people can make to get active or stay active and Sport England invests National Lottery funding into projects like the EFL’s Extra Time Hubs to make that happen.
“I believe that the EFL’s hubs will go a long way in not only boosting activity levels for older adults; we hope to see them bring people together, and improve mental wellbeing and resilience while reducing loneliness.”