What is JOY (Just Older Youth)?
JOY (Just Older Youth) is aptly named. We are a small charity, entirely run by volunteers, which has been working in the New Cross area of South East London for 10 years bringing friendship, fun and fitness to the lives of older adults in our community. Over 200 people benefit from JOY's activities each year.
What do we do?
Our core work is delivering 10 exercise and activity classes each week, ranging from dance, Tai Chi, gentle exercise and walks to singing, craft and a Men's Shed project. We also run a monthly cuppa club and film club and organise seaside trips and excursions, a Christmas party and regular social activities like Tea Dances and benefit gigs. In addition JOY helps members, who would not otherwise do so, to access community activities such as the Big Lunch, festivals, dances and performances.
Why do we do it?
The benefits of physical exercise and social interaction are proven to improve health, quality of life and wellbeing. Many of our members live alone, some suffer from long term health conditions, some are excluded from taking part in classes and activities elsewhere by financial constraints or loss of confidence. JOY provides a friendly and supportive environment where older people can come together, get fit, learn new skills, make friends, sing, dance and laugh together. We do it, to put a little bit more joy into life.
How do we do it?
JOY is run by 8 volunteers who apply for grants, fundraise and organise all activities. We employ professional tutors and hire space in community halls to run our classes. We have no paid workers so all money donated to JOY goes directly to the users of the service.
Why do we need your support?
Ten years of austerity and the preference amongst funding bodies to finance new start up projects rather than ongoing ones (even those with a proven track record of delivering significant benefit!) has had a serious impact on our financial position and ability to continue the full service we provide.
Older people are most at risk. Our membership is shielding, leading to more isolation and loneliness and less physical activity. The committee has been ringing members regularly, checking everyone is ok and putting people in touch with food delivery schemes. We have also organised a singing group online. Sadly not everyone has the technology to take part. Whilst we can't run our activities at present we have continued to incur costs, such as hall hire paid in advance. In difficult and isolated times, hope is very important. Our members are missing all that JOY brings and worried that the effect of the virus on the economy, will jeopardise the future of JOY. Please donate to help us continue to support our members at this time, secure our future and bring hope to older people in our community.