Meet the 82-year-old dementia sufferer who has been given a new lease of life by Newcastle Eagles
Jim Milne felt alone and isolated in his community with no relatives to turn to until he joined Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation's Active Ageing sessions
By Rachael Nichol – Chronicle Live
After losing his wife two years ago and having no other relatives to turn to, this 82-year-old found himself sitting in his home alone and feeling isolated.
Living with dementia Jim Milne, from Chapel House, reached out for support from his local GP who referred him to Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation.
And now never missing a session, Jim plays walking basketball every week which has become a lifeline for him.
Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and The Kellett Fund, set up the project to tackle loneliness and social isolation in people over 55 years old, living in the West End of Newcastle
The 40-week programme has proven to be a success with dozens of over-55s attending the sessions every other Monday.
Jim said: "One of the reasons why I joined is because I've got dementia and being active is a better way to help you than drugs.
"Now I have a lot of friends here. We can sit and talk if we don't fancy doing any sport, we all get on really well its been a good laugh and it gets us all out the house.
"I find it not as a saviour but its now part of my life, it is my life. The staff have also been amazing they look after you and if you want to know anything they will help."
Jim added: "Physically I'm not fast enough any more but it's exciting playing walking basketball. From taking part in this I can now do things that I couldn't normally do and it's great to get active."
Alongside hosting walking basketball sessions, Newcastle Eagles Community Arena hosts events every week including table sports, multi-sports and Zumba Gold.
Neil Curry, Newacstle Eagles Community Foundation's active ageing officer, said: "Our aim with these sessions is to get over 55 year olds into sport and activity with the hope to reduce social isolation and to give them health benefits.
"The program is designed to enable over 55's to take part in a wide variety of experiences regardless of their ability.
"Our sessions aren't just sporty they are very social and have helped to bring the community together."
For more information about the Active Sessions offered in Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation visit this link: https://newcastle-eagles.com/community/active-ageing/