» The Launch of ‘The Second Half Of Your Life Foundation’ » Jill Shaw Ruddock

The Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea Councillor Mrs Julie Mills, together with Ruby Wax, Judith Owen and ex investment banker, Jill Shaw Ruddock launched ‘The Second Half of Your Life Foundation’ at the Town Hall.  The event was surprisingly relaxed but with a serious message. More older people than ever are living longer, but alone.  Loneliness and social isolation in the UK is at an all time high with some 300,000 pensioners not speaking to family or neighbours in a month.  This is nothing short of appalling. On the strength of her recent international best seller ‘The Second Half of Your Life’ and recognising that the over 50s should be entering the best phase of their lives, Jill decided to launch The Second Half Of Your Life Foundation.  The centre will be housed within St Charles NHS H0spital in North Kensington.  Mayor Julie Mills has selected this as one of her charities and has created a bursary programme from private donations throughout the borough to ensure the underprivileged can attend either a full morning or afternoon of activities, plus a meal for a nominal fee of £2.00. The centre is appropriately sited in North Kensington, which has the unfortunate stigma of being one of the most deprived areas in London.  Loneliness is not class based, and the purpose of the Foundation is to provide a place for all over 50s whatever their background, to come together – share a hobby, connect socially, learn new skills, and become psychologically and physically healthier. Workshops will be available on diverse subjects such as: how to set up your own business, jewellery making, Bridge, current affairs, art for fun and learning, computers (emailing, internet and social networking) and a book club.  Physical exercise, diet and mental health will also be addressed by way of lecture series and excise classes.

For a long time now I have been concerned with the lack of social integration provided in the area and The Second Half of Your Life Foundation really addresses this.  In addition to funding ( for example £50 will enable one person to enjoy 2 activities and one meal everyday for one week), they are also looking for Patrons and volunteers to help give professional advise and assistance on the workshops.  The centre will be available for men and women and once established, it is hoped to replicate this throughout other boroughs in the UK.  If the energy from those who attended the launch was anything to go by, there is little doubt this centre will not be a success and in years to come we will wonder why it took so long to simply provide something like this for our ‘older’ members of the community who still have to much to offer, and who, should be entering the best second half of their lives.

As Ruddock says, “Of course we have to age, but we do not have to grow old.  How we grow old, we can control”.

 
Source:The Kensington magazine – Jill Shaw Ruddock – The Launch of ‘The Second Half Of Your Life Foundation’

The Second Half Centre

St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing

Exmoor Street, North Kensington

London, W10 6DZ

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