Open Age was established in 1993 and is now celebrating over 25 years of championing an active life for older people. They work across Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham with members aged from 50 to 104, helping sustain their physical and mental fitness, maintain an active lifestyle and develop new and stimulating interests. We spoke with Lain Cassidy, CEO Open Age on the pandemic on receiving a £3,000 grant from London Masons.

Lain explained that despite Covid restrictions and the limited IT skills of some of their clients, Open Age is managing to reach out and help its core membership, combating loneliness and isolation at these trying times. There are facilitated telephone groups for the housebound and those unable to leave their homes. Activities cover everything from fitness classes such as dance, chair exercise, yoga and walking groups to creative and performing arts sessions, and talks or groups with speakers. Fun is always at the core of what they hope to achieve with all members leading a fulfilling and joyful life.

Lain went on to say that during normal operation they would provide up to 350 weekly activities from more than 60 sites. They are currently unable to run activities at any venue until government advice around social distancing changes. However, Open Age are delighted to be offering limited activities online. Also on offer, help to learn a new skill and increase confidence by attending classes such as computers, IPADs and Smart Phone for beginners.

London Masons Charity Steward Tony Shields commented: “We are glad to provide urgent support to Open Age in West London, in these challenging times it is good that London Masons can respond quickly to requests for assistance.”

“This grant follows on from a recent £2.5 Million grant to fund two ultra-high aerial platforms, six rapid response vehicles and four bariatric stretchers and earlier generous donations of £3 million to Bart’s hospital for the purchase of a Cyberknife and £2 million donation towards the second London Air Ambulance, all of which contribute to saving lives right across this great capital city.”