Grant ensures future of community club

Emma Crowter from Sompting Big Local, left, with Peter Hornsby and Tony Phillips from Age UK, standing, and Sompting Community Club members
Emma Crowter from Sompting Big Local, left, with Peter Hornsby and Tony Phillips from Age UK, standing, and Sompting Community Club members

Sompting Community Club has been given the funding to continue, following a successful first two years.

The club for the over-50s is run by Age UK and funded by Sompting Big Local. It started small but now has more than 20 members, most of which attend meetings at The Gardeners Arms every week.

Emma Crowter, from Sompting Big Local, said: “Two years ago, we approached Age UK, asking them to run a community club for the over-50s, and we funded it for the first two years.

“We have just given another £2,600 grant to Age UK so the club can continue for a third year.

“We started with four or five people and now it is up to about 15 to 20 every week. They really like it and they stay for lunch as well. The majority come from Sompting but some travel from Worthing.”

Peter Hornsby, co-ordinator of Age UK West Sussex’s Adur Community Clubs, said the Sompting club was particularly good for men.

He explained: “I run ten clubs across Adur and the majority are 70 per cent female but here it is more 50-50. We thought that might happen, having it in a pub.

“They have a tea or coffee then play board games, finishing off with card bingo for everyone. We also keep them updated on any news from Neighbourhood Watch or Sussex Police.

“It is an excellent partnership, Sompting Big Local has the funds and we have the expertise to run it.”

Peter said community clubs tended to start off small and slowly grow, usually by word of mouth.

Tony Phillips runs the Sompting club for Age UK and will check on absent members if they have not given prior notice.

He said: “It is nice that a lot of them have made friends here, they gel so well. It stops people being at home on their own and it just works. It is a nice atmosphere.”

Landlady Margaret Treacy puts on lunch at a special price of £4.95, offering a choice of four main courses.

She said: “It is a nice group, we have really got to know them. It has got bigger and bigger. It is something they look forward to.

“We have had some new people in the last few weeks and they have been car sharing, so they have made friends here.”

The club meets on Friday mornings, 10am to midday. Subs are £1.50 a week, which includes a tea or coffee with biscuits, and bingo is 50p, winner takes all.

Contact Peter Hornsby on 07904 976736 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/westsussex