Jan McIntyre - Critchley Community Hub

Members of a Swinton Community group came together on Friday to host their annual fashion show, with all proceeds going back into the organisation.

The Critchley Community Hub fashion show took place of Friday 29 October to encourage the Swinton community to buy second hand clothes and raise funds for the Hub and Age UK Salford.

Age UK Salford have been based in Critchley Community Hub in Swinton for over 40 years and support elderly people with the help of over 70 dedicated staff and 50 volunteers.

Jan McIntyre started visiting the Hub on her lunch breaks while working from home and took on a new occupation as a model for the event on Friday.

She said: “I was really nervous to start with because I have not done anything like this before, but when they asked me I just thought ‘yeah, why not?’, I am old enough just to experience anything and try it the first time so it was good fun.

“It has been my little oasis to come down here in the summer and go and sit outside in the back in the garden.

“I bring my book down and it is my escape at lunchtime just to get away from everybody, and I have got to know loads of the ladies here and it is just a really nice community.”

Colin Goode hosted the fashion show after his friends at the Community Hub considered him to be ‘a natural’ with a microphone, but admitted he was still nervous when it came around to the event.

He said: “Everybody said ‘you do it, because you are a natural at it’ but until you stand there with a mic and everyone is looking at you, you don’t realise it is a bit more awkward than what you would think.

“We have been here from day one really, myself and my wife, it is important for the likes of myself because I struggle with just being at home, I need to get out.

“So I can literally just get up and have my breakfast and everything and just say to Sue [his wife] I am just nipping round to the Hub for a coffee and it is like an extension of my front room.”

Alongside fashion shows, Critchley Community Hub host a handful of events and activities throughout the year, as the events coordinator, Joy, discusses.

Joy said: “We are open to everybody and we do have groups, we have a gardening group, we have an arts and crafts group, all spaced out over the week.

“But I always say to people, you don’t have to join a group, you can just come in – we are open to the community.”

Salford’s elderly population is projected to increase by almost 37% by 2030, so activities on offer through Age UK Salford at the Critchley Community Hub is something that visitors believe to be really important.

Jan said: “I didn’t realise the amount of activities they actually put on here, they do reading groups, they do knitting groups, arts groups, all kinds of things.

“I just think it is actually really important for people to have a focus and to have a community where they can all go and talk to other.”

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