On Friday, 5 October Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, attended a lunch at Fairlight Village Hall to celebrate 10 years of Marsham Older People’s Project (MOPP). Set up in 2008, MOPP organises lunches on a weekly basis with the aim of providing older people with a forum in which to both socialise and meet others with similar interests and hobbies. MOPP also provides its members with specialist advice, with expert services attending the centre to provide attendees with assistance in a whole range of areas – from pensions to the law.
Through its activities, MOPP provides a vital means of tackling both loneliness and isolation in old age. Out of the 1500 people living in Fairlight, Guestling and Pett who are over 60 years of age, around 300 are said to be living alone. MOPP has looked to tackle the issue of loneliness among seniors by bringing older people from the locality together on a regular basis. This helps to give those who attend MOPP something to look forward to during the week and makes a significant contribution in promoting better mental health along with greater well-being.
The centre currently has plans to expand and is considering new ways of assisting its members with their everyday needs – needs, which include social care and domestics.
Commenting on her visit to MOPP Amber Rudd said: “I am grateful for having been invited to MOPP’s birthday celebrations complete with excellent Fairlight cuisine. Loneliness and feelings of isolation in old age constitute real and pressing challenges both here in Hastings and Rye as well as nationally. I would therefore like to thank MOPP’s chairman – Robert Pasterfield – and his staff for the fantastic work that they do in making our local seniors feel an integral part of the local community."
Photo: Amber is pictured in the kitchen of Fairlight Village Hall with organisers and helpers at Marsham Older People’s Project’s 10th Birthday Celebratory Lunch.