An Eccles church is hosting arts and crafts workshops for over-50s in the Salford area to help tackle loneliness.

The group, organised by Start Salford, runs the sessions every Tuesday at St Andrew’s Church where members learn new arts and crafts skills while also socialising.

st andrew's church eccles

The idea was started by Reverend Jenny Lewis who said: “It gets everyone out and the church provides warmth and a nice atmosphere.”

“If a partner has dementia it limits what the other half can do.”

The arts and crafts workshop was started nearly two years ago and it brings around eight to ten people each week.

The church also holds other community events, including carpet bowls on a Friday.

Joel, who is a new member, praised the church’s efforts for bringing the community together.

He said: “I have worked as a hospital porter for 30 years doing night shifts. So this gives me a nice way to spend my afternoons when everyone else is working.”

Another new member, Karen, said: “Everyone’s got different skills, I’m a beginner but we learn from each other.”

Arts and crafts vary every week and are usually themed, including Valentine’s Day cards and Chinese New Year lanterns.

The St Andrew’s Church arts and crafts afternoon is open to anyone over the age of 50 in the Salford and Eccles area.

According to Age UK, 1.9 million older people often feel ignored or invisible and loneliness can increase death in the elderly by almost a quarter.

By James Burr and Madeline Bateson; images by the authors

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