Grimsargh friendship group closes after 25 years

More than 30 members attended the last ever meeting of the Grimsargh Young at Heart Group.
More than 30 members attended the last ever meeting of the Grimsargh Young at Heart Group.

A Grimsargh friendship group has marked 25 years of friendship at its last ever meeting.

More than 30 members of The Young at Heart Group, which is supported by Age Concern, attended the event.

Members enjoying afternoon tea.

Members enjoying afternoon tea.

Members, who have decided to close the group due to their age, include organiser Jean Harrison and those who have attended every week since the first meeting.

Suzanne Carr, CEO of Age Concern, said: "This group is a lovely example of what can be achieved by local communities coming together. We want to send a sincere thank you to Jean and all the volunteers who have committed a thousands of hours of their time befriending neighbours and forming a group that has provided a safe environment to celebrate being young at heart."

The club launched in 1995 to bring together socially isolated older people within their community and Jean has volunteered from the beginning. It has had a solid 20-30 attendees who meet socially on a monthly basis, enjoying trips and days out together, and volunteers have given around 4,500 hours of their time over the years.

Over the past 25 years, members have hosted more than 120 different speakers, including antique dealers, wine-tasting sessions and even live oil painting masterclasses. They have even invited a group of Preston College students to debate Brexit at one of their meetings.

Organiser Jean Harrison receives flowers from Suzanne Carr, with Norman Tenray, Mary Purdy and Norman Ridding.

Organiser Jean Harrison receives flowers from Suzanne Carr, with Norman Tenray, Mary Purdy and Norman Ridding.

At the last session, the group set up a special table to remember members who have died or could not make the event. They also presented a book that recorded the first ever meeting while Jean closed her last talk by quoting: "I might be finishing but I'm not finished yet."