Figures highlight staggering strength behind social support return

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly’s (WiSE) has unveiled the staggering statistics behind the restoration of its best loved activities- helping to cut social isolation after almost two years of lockdowns and shielding.

The figures include 900 coffees, 768 cups of tea and 432 scones served to 1,629 visitors to the charity’s popular WiSE Owl Café for the community in Boston Spa.

That’s on top of almost 500 people who have attended one of the 50 activities WiSE has staged since reopening core services 12 weeks ago- from chairobics, aerobics and line dancing to knitting, crafting and music sessions.

Another 50 transport journeys have been completed, whereby the charity’s volunteers drive older people to activities or social engagements they would otherwise not have been able to attend.

Mark Dobson, Chief Operating Officer at WiSE, said: “As soon as the government gave the green light for final restrictions to end in July, we knew we needed to step up and get back up and running with activities and events which we know make a massive difference to the lives of hundreds of older people in Wetherby and surrounding villages- many of whom have been starved of social interaction for almost two years now.

“Whilst we’re continuing to proceed cautiously and with the needs of our friends front of mind, we’re so pleased that we’ve been able to make these last 12 weeks busy and enjoyable ones, which we think these figures illustrate really well.”

WiSE is a registered charity organisation part funded by Leeds City Council (LCC). Its aim is to improve quality of life for the over 60s by providing community based activities, information, help and support.

Its efforts during the pandemic were acknowledged with a special award by the Lord Mayor of Leeds last year, after the charity was nominated for recognition by local councillors.

Now it’s looking to extend its events programme into more of Wetherby’s surrounding villages including Thorner, Bramham and Boston Spa.

For more information about its activities and events visit www.w-ise.org.uk/calendar

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