Let’s Talk About Wirral – Tackling Social Isolation

‘Let’s Talk About Wirral’ started in 2014 as ‘Let’s Talk About Sport’ with Craig Gilholm , the course manager at Royal Liverpool GC, telling the group about preparing the golf course to host The Open. Guests included former professional footballer Wendy Owen, Olympian Brian Barnes, students from Clare Mount school who taught the group play Boccia and more recently Wirral Ranger Matt Thomas on A Bird’s Eye View of Hilbre. It was guests like Matt, that started the shift to ‘Wirral’ rather than ‘Sport’ but the focus remains on subjects linked to enjoying the Great Outdoors and some are still definitely sport themed (see January/February 2017). The aim of the group is to encourage greater community engagement and particularly to provide a group that might appeal to older men who, in the eyes of  a Wirral BC Mental Health group, can often be neglected when it comes to social activities. The group attracts as many women as men but undoubtedly for some men, it is a highlight in their social lives. It also brings together people who live in the same community but otherwise might not meet. We have, for example,  participants from Hoylake Cottage Hospital and have occasional visits from students at Clare Mount school. The meeting starts with a short ‘On This Day’/ local history quiz which gets people talking. The guest then engages an interview style presentation led by Dr  Kate Hughes into which participants are also encouraged to join in with questions and comments to create a very interactive style of event. There is  a strong link to St Hildeburgh’s Church who have supported the group from the very start and help with promotion, featuring LTAW in its weekly magazine; The Beacon. Meetings are held (with some exceptions) on the first Wednesday in the month, starting at 2pm, at St Hildeburgh’s Church Centre. Everyone is welcome, refreshments are provided and it’s all free! ‘Let’s Talk About Wirral’ – Spring 2017 schedule January 4th – Prof Sheila Wigmore: The Evolving Role of Women in the Olympic Movement February 15th – Steve Smith: Raising the Bar March 1st – Mike Bird: Hilbre Explorer Boat Trip April 5th – Bob Chadwick: A Walk Around Wales May 10th – Alex Laing: Out and About With the Wirral Street Pastors