We moved into Evelyn Coyle House in October 2012 and with the help of teams of volunteers organised through The Volunteer Centre in Southwark, we have made the place our own. Everywhere you look there are reminders of Ireland and you are greeted with Irish music when you walk throiugh the door.
It is a large building and we have filled every nook and cranny! We have built an 'old Irish kitchen' in one corner of the dining room where our pensioners can sit and eat a nutritious home cooked lunch, snacks and refreshments throughout the day. We have a great team of volunteers - largely made up of the pensioners themselves - who are the backbone of the Club. They help in the kitchen, serve the meals, run the tea bar, organise the clearing up and all the dishwashing! They are amazing.
We have a dedicated IT room with a tutor for a couple of hours a week - the rest of the time it is used by lots of pensioners to send emails to loved ones across the world, others surf the net for whatever they're interested in and others listen to concerts on the headphones.
We have a health and beauty room which is occupied by various people through the week providing aromatherapy massage, hairdressing, nail painting, chiropody and opticians. We have a dedicated 'bring and buy' room which is a constant source of fundraising throughout the year. We have a large screen TV and dozens of Irish DVD's/videos which are always on the go, a pool room, a chat room with Irish newspapers for a quiet read and a large hall that houses yoga and t'ai chi classes, arts & crafts sessions, tea dances, line dancing, bingo and a table tennis table for anyone who has the energy!
We have a lovely garden with beds of flowers and raised beds growing vegetables. This year the gardening group have provided the kitchen with rhubarb, lettuce, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, cabbages, green beans and tomatoes! They also made up and sold dozens of planted pots and hanging baskets for the Club.
We have a 'handyman' who organises a small group of volunteers to carry out small DIY jobs in the homes of our pensioners who can no longer manage to do the jobs themselves and who don’t have friends or family living nearby to help. Even a simple task of changing a lightbulb is precarious if you're not too steady on your feet! At the present time, we are concentrating on safety and security in the home i.e. window and door locks, smoke alarms, door chains plus unruly indoor mats, unsteady tables or other furntiure etc.