Shrewsbury Town in the Community will come together with 11 other EFL Clubs this week to launch our Extra Time Hub – a national project designed to engage retired and semi-retired individuals and combat loneliness in the older generation.
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.
Launched in line with Loneliness Awareness Week, the Extra Time Hubs will harness the community surrounding Shrewsbury Town to bring older people together and provide a range of activities that could benefit their physical and mental health.
Funded with the support of Sport England’s Active Ageing 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. All 12 Clubs will hold launch events at their respective grounds throughout this week.
Mike Evans Director of Operations at EFL Trust 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 enable people to decide which activities they want to do rather than being prescribed for them as well as giving people the opportunity to meet like-minded people and feel less isolated”.
Reg Morris, one of the participants at Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s sessions, has been attending the sessions since they first started and has spoken about how they helped him meet “a lovely group of people” saying that, “it is probably the best group I’ve ever joined.”
Mike Diaper Sports England’s, Executive Director for Tackling Inactivity, comments, “Maintaining an active lifestyle as you grow older delivers massive health and social benefits. However, we know that you are more likely to be less active as an older person. Often it can feel like the barriers to getting active grow as we age. But there are simple change people can make to get active or stay active and Sport England invests National Lottery funding into projects like the EFL’s Extra Times 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. The EFL and those working on the Hubs have taken specific care to understand the needs of the older adults taking part in their local areas to provide a fantastic service and prove that getting older doesn’t have to mean slowing down.”