OLDER people in Oldham and Rochdale tried their hand at jewellery making for the first time at a free event at the Royal Voluntary Service Shaw Dining Club.

Shirley Murray from Oldham Lifelong Learning led the group in learning new skills and techniques with an introduction to jewellery-making workshop which led to everyone making an individually designed bracelet and earrings.

The free class at the venue, in Victoria Gardens, Shaw, was part of First Time for Everything, a programme designed by Royal Voluntary Service and Prudential to give older people in the two towns an opportunity to try something new for free in their local community. Staying active and social have been proven to be important to keeping fit and well in older age.

Research by Royal Voluntary Service earlier this year found that two thirds (65 per cent) of people aged 60 and over wanted to try a new activity, but three in ten (29 per cent) felt there were not enough local opportunities to do so. Keen to address this, the charity joined forces with Prudential to launch the First Time for Everything programme.

Margaret Greaves from Shaw, who attended the Prudential First Time for Everything activities for the first time having read about the jewellery-making event, said: “Wonderful, everyone is so welcoming and friendly, I have really enjoyed learning some jewellery making and will definitely be attending more activities"

Eleanor Turner, head of corporate responsibility at Prudential, said: “The First Time for Everything programme has had a significant impact in the communities where it’s already run. We want to help create experiences that enhance the lives of older people and at the same time help address the epidemic of loneliness in the UK, particularly amongst the elderly. We’re delighted to be supporting Royal Voluntary Service for a second year. We hope that even more older people will enjoy trying First Time for Everything activities at Shaw Dining Club in 2018.”

The next Prudential First Time for Everything event at Shaw Dining Club is Gentle Exercise to Music on Thursday, 28th June at 1.30-3.30pm.

Royal Voluntary Service relies on support from local volunteers to help run First Time for Everything events and other social activities and is looking for more volunteers to join its friendly, dedicated team.