Wednesday saw me slide (literally) as the roads were so icy over to STEP in Leeds, a charity committed to helping the elderly.

As the snow fall was IMMENSE the turnout wasn’t representative of the usual numbers of folks drawn to the comfort of this community style centre but it was lovely to meet those, there.

A haven for the over 60’s in the LS16 area, STEP is open MondayThursday, 10am-4pm for breakfast, coffee, social activities and fitness classes and they also arrange day trips too.

STEP is the ideal place for those who might feel lonely and in need of a cuppa in great company and it’s somewhere bursting with POSITIVE ENERGY and uplifting vibes.

The minute I arrived saw me being greeted by the tremendously warm and charismatic manager, Wendy who gave me a tour while setting up pictures and quick interviews with patrons who’d braved the snow and were warming up with breakfast and warm coffee.

coffee break at STEP in Leeds

Wendy explained that once elderly members within the community are referred to STEP, together with her colleague Janice, home visits are made so they can check the wellbeing and safety of the person (referring for support or helping them claim benefits some might not have even known they were able to) before encouraging visits to the centre for food, company, exercise sessions, monthly quizzes and more.

elderly people at STEPGuest at STEP in Leeds

Wendy and Julia offer the elderly a lifeline in Leeds. Friendly faces, somewhere that is welcome to all that will help them reconnect with others and feel a sense of belonging.

What stood out most to me was just how happy everyone there was from the support workers to the members visiting.

The food looked delicious- ‘bacon butties are everyone’s favourite’ said chirpy chef Diane who stocks favourite food for members ‘Jean loves artic roll’ and prices of meals are a snip at jacket potatoes with a filling at just £1.50.

Cafe at STEP in Leeds Diane from the cafe at STEP in Leeds volunteers at STEP

It was lovely to chat to a cross section of members too, one chap, Graham said he discovered the place when bringing his mother and now enjoys popping in for a cup of tea and a chance to read his paper, when he can.

He too commented on how positive the place is. A sun trap, it fills with glorious light and offer space where members can watch TV, shop for donated items, join in Tai Chi or simply enjoy their breakfast, lunch or dinner in the company of like-minded mates.

Shop at STEPDonated items to buy at STEP in Leeds

STEP is a vital space for so many.

When Wendy mentioned how so many felt lonely pre-Step and now with so many regulars who feel it’s been informative to them, I couldn’t help but relate to a period of loneliness in my own life.

….When I had my first son, Oliver, I suffered from the effects of a traumatic birth for a year- at 27, I was the first from my friends and colleagues to have a baby too which meant I felt hugely lonely, particularly at the start.

Those feelings of isolation and a real lack of structure and purpose was stifling.

I understand in my own, small way how elderly patrons might feel having lost their identity somewhat, their routine and structure and devastatingly for some, loved ones.

Places like STEP are so vital in ensuring people suffering in this way do not feel isolated and alone.

That they belong.

It was an honour and privilege to visit STEP.

Please do consider signing up for Sport Relief’s games with events happening across the UK, you and your family can raise money and have a super day out on March 20th. The proceeds raised are going to help STEP and many other projects supporting the poorest communities in the UK and all over the world.

I will be doing a sponsored 3 mile walk with my family and would love you to sponsor us HERE.

Thanks
Vicki

 

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38 Responses

  1. Carol Cameleon

    What an utterly fantastic place and such an important haven, Vicky.
    Carol Cameleon recently posted…My candles bargain (and chocolate!)My Profile

    Reply
  2. Silly Mummy

    What a lovely charity – and sounds like they have a bit of everything going on at the centre! I think it’s particularly great that they also do home visits to check about any additional support that may be need to ensure vulnerable people are safe. #briliantblogposts

    Reply
  3. Debbie

    Vicki, STEPS sounds like a much needed and very worthy cause. It’s a shame that there are elderly people who feel alone and maybe forgotten, but a center like this gives them something to look forward to, without having to worry about spending a fortune for a little food, activity and company.

    A happy, smiling face can go along way in making someones day.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…DitheringMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      So true Debbie, such an incredible charity that helps so many. I can’t wait to return. The atmosphere was so wonderful, everyone truly cares for one another and it’s such a fun place to be too with delicious food x

      Reply
  4. Ebabee

    What a lovely thing to do and a lovely post. Loneliness is the worst thing and this charity sounds fab in what they are doing to help people. xx

    Reply
  5. laura dove

    This was such a lovely thing to do and share, I have never heard of STEP but what an amazing cause! Thanks for hosting! #brilliantblogpost

    Reply
  6. Regina L. L. Wells

    Vicki, STEP is just fabulous! I see why you love this organization. Too many elderly are disconnected, and so many people do not understand that kind of disconnectedness. I loved that your coat matched the wallpaper…good sign, indeed. Great work, doll!
    Regina L. L. Wells recently posted…Fashion Trends We Should Get OverMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      I couldn’t believe my coat matched the wallpaper and you are so right, there are so many people, particularly the elderly who feel vulnerable and alone, it was so great to see first-hand the incredible work STEP are doing and where some of the important money raised for Sport Relief goes x

      Reply
  7. @adadcalledspen

    I think we can be guilty of forgetting just how lonely older people can get. Yes, some might have big families but it’s the everyday contact that keeps us going, and places like this, and volunteers like you’ve met, do their best for the elderly. Excellent stuff.
    @adadcalledspen recently posted…Who the f*** do you think you are?My Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      So true Spen, it was wonderful to meet so many of the members and of course the incredible people running STEP. They’ve created a warm, wonderful and vital place for many.

      Reply
  8. Laura @dearbearandbeany

    How lovely that you were able to go and visit a great charity. It’s amazing what charities like STEPS do for people and the difference it can make to people’s lives. I have been fortunate enough to visit a few charities over the years and they are always so welcoming. x #brillblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      How wonderful, this is a community project, not a nursing home but means the people who use it can continue living at home but don’t feel lonely as they have a place to visit for classes, company and food 🙂

      Reply
  9. Claire at Life Love and Dirty Dishes

    I have so much admiration for the people who work for charities and groups like this. We have just moved my husband’s grandmother into a home as her altzheimers has got to a stage where she is not safe to live on her own. Prior to this she used to attend lots of groups like this and she loved the company. #BrilliantBlogPosts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      I’m so sorry to read about your grandmother and am glad to hear before she went to a home she had a place like STEP, such an important project, I felt privileged to visit xx

      Reply
  10. Sarah - Craft Invaders

    What a great resource for the older population in Leeds. My background is in District Nursing so I am very aware what a difference clubs like this make. Loneliness is a huge problem for so many people, but our elderly population often face extra challenges such as no longer being able to drive, and loss of friends and loved ones which really compounds it. Loved reading about your visit x

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thank you Sarah, so true and it can be devastating for so many who feel helpless and alone. STEP is an incredible resource to the elderly people of Leeds x

      Reply
  11. Amanda

    I’m jealous of the snow 🙂 what a lovely cause and a great place. If i’m doing Tai chi in my 80s i’ll be a happy old mama 🙂 xx

    Reply

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