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Social club combats social isolation for older people

Tait Drive Social Club

Introducing Elsie Tonks – volunteer extraordinaire!

Elsie has been busy in the kitchen providing lunches to members of the Tait Drive Social Club group for 23 years.

The group of approximately 45 senior citizens, aged between 55 and 98 years old, meet at Greenmeadows East Community Hall every week between January and November for morning tea and a two-course lunch, but most importantly to socialise with one another.

This week Elsie and other dedicated volunteers served up an extra special festive lunch for their last gathering before Christmas.

“We had Christmas ham, new potatoes, salads and all the trimmings,” Elsie says.

“We’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter what we do for the first course, as long as we give them a delicious second course they will be happy.”

“I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. The members help by taking the meals around and setting up the tables. Everyone is involved and very friendly.”

The group was established 33 years ago under the umbrella of Age Concern but is open to any older person in Napier. No membership is required. The meal costs $6, which covers the cost of food, although their Christmas lunch was “on the house”.

“We do feel sorry for them after all they have been through this year so we gave them a free Christmas lunch.

“We often have raffles, entertainment and Housie throughout the year but we’ve found that most of the group simply want to come along and chat to friends, old and new. It’s very important and addresses social isolation, which many people in this age group face.”

For more information about the Tait Drive Social Club, please phone Elsie on 843 4415 or email

21 December 2020

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