853‘s Community Spotlight feature is here to tell you what local groups are up to. This week, it’s the turn of Long Lane Junior Football Club…
The biggest junior football club in Greenwich borough has opened its doors for fun and fitness for the over 50s… for FREE.
Long Lane JFC in Dursley Road, Kidbrooke – with 40 male and female teams ranging from under 7s to vets – is now the home twice a month of the Active 50 Club.
The club, a registered charity, offers fitness classes with an instructor, walking football, table tennis, board games, light gardening and cribbage lessons along with free refreshments.
Funds for the club came from Greenwich Council’s ward budget scheme following an approach from local councillor David Stanley.
“When the club approached me about setting up a club I thought it was a great idea to expand their work in the local community,” said Cllr Stanley. “Older people can become isolated and the club offers an opportunity to meet other people in a friendly environment as well as improve their fitness. It will help people become more healthy and stay independent for longer.”
The club was launched on Friday, May 3, and will run the first and third Friday of every month from 10am to 12 noon – the next session being this Friday, May 17.
Football coach Josie Clifford, who works part time for Long Lane, said: “Long Lane JFC is more than a football club and we wanted to engage with our local community. We have some fantastic facilities as a grassroots club so with the support of Greenwich Council we were successful in securing some funding to set up a club for people over 50.
“The benefits are that people can be active, socialise, have fun, keep healthy and make new friends at the same time. As a charitable organisation that primarily provides football for all, we feel we could make a difference to help improve the health and well-being of the local residents within the borough.
Carol Hedges, 62, who lost her husband Gary last year, is already a regular. She said: “The leaflet came through the door and I decided to give it a go. I came down for the introduction day and really enjoyed it.
“I think more people should come and enjoy it. It gets you out the house. I live by myself now, just off Shooters Hill, and I’m going to come as often as I can. I mentioned it to one neighbour and he said he might come. You just have to get out and try it rather than staying indoors.
“What I enjoy most about it is meeting people and getting to know them. Josie is very nice and it’s a nice atmosphere, being around people. My husband would have liked it as well.”
Get down to Long Lane JFC in Dursley Road, Kidbrooke, this Friday (May 17) or contact Josie Clifford on 020 8856 1051 or email josieclifford[at]longlanejfc.co.uk.