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Return visit cements inter-diocesan ties

Max at Butt Lane lunch club

Earlier this year, Matt Ford journeyed to Manchester to visit the Lalley Centre where he met Sr Rita Lee, star of BBC documentary, ‘Sister Rita to the Rescue’. Matt works with Young at Heart in North Staffordshire, a project for older people run by Father Hudson’s Care. During his trip he learned how the Lalley Centre operates, spoke to staff and volunteers and got stuck in helping out at the food bank.

In November it was the turn of Max Leon, development officer at the Lalley Centre, to spend the day with Matt and meet people who attend the groups.

During his trip Max visited the Butt Lane lunch club and accompanied Matt on a home visit to one of the people he supports.

The exchange visits have been a useful way for projects in different dioceses to learn from each other. Both Young at Heart and the Lalley Centre support people who are experiencing social isolation and poverty.

Max said, “It was very interesting to see a project working on the same thing, but that is also slightly different. It’s interesting to see different ways of working. Breaking the isolation is very hard – there are always things to learn.”

At the lunch club Max spent time chatting with a group of people about what the group means to them. He said, “I spent time with about ten people and talked with quite a few of them. They looked very happy to be there.”

With the many similarities between the two projects, the exchange has proved valuable to both, inspiring new ideas and highlighting the importance of breaking down the isolation people in their areas are experiencing. 

Max said, “I am very grateful for the time here today.”

If you are interested in getting involved with Young at Heart in North Staffordshire, whether as a volunteer or supporter, or if you are interested in attending, please contact Matt Ford on 07587 034299.

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