Fear as elderly social group in Buxton may fold

Fairfield Older People's Group need to find a new staff member or it will close.
Fairfield Older People's Group need to find a new staff member or it will close.

A community group which offers a vital lifeline service for the elderly could fold if a new staff member is not found.

The Fairfield Older People’s Group, which is supported by Age UK, allows elderly people in the community a chance to come together and socialise.

After a recent staff departure, there are fears the group will not be able to continue.

Penny Butcher, Age UK’s befriending co-ordinator for the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales, said: “This group is vital for those older people in our community.

“For some of those who use the service, popping out for a coffee every week is the only social interaction they get and without it they would be isolated in their home.”

The group, which meets at St Nicholas’ Hall on Victoria Park Road, was established in 2008 and meets every Thursday afternoon for one-and-a-half hours. Sessions vary, but routinely include transport for members who require it, refreshments, and an activity or speaker.

Penny said: “The group has helped to establish and maintain strong friendships and circles of support for many members who have increasing frailty or disability, which has meant the loss of all other forms of social contact.

“If we can’t fill this role the quality of life for 12 elderly people is going to go down which would be terrible.”

The group is seeking someone to fill the paid role, for three hours every Thursday.

Anyone who is interested is asked to contact Penny on 01433 620263 or email befriending@ageukderbyandderbyshire.org.uk.