The Anything Goes Project helps socially isolated, disadvantaged and vulnerable older people who are currently experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, social isolation and loneliness.
This project brings together small groups of socially isolated older people and works with them to design bespoke activities that help them remain connected to their local community. Our aim is to set up small social groups within your local community to help you build new friendships and try new activities.
How can Anything Goes help me?
- We can provide volunteers to support and facilitate groups in your area
- We can provide one to one support to find existing opportunities, activities and services in your area
- We can help you meet new friends, engage with your local community, keep active, socialise and stay independent for longer
We would like to hear your ideas for activities or social gatherings that aren’t currently being offered in your local community. With your valuable help we can look at designing and providing a service that would be of particular interest to you and others like you. Our Project Coordinator will meet you for an informal chat to understand what social activities you’d like and to work out how we can make it happen.
Where is this project available?
This service is available in the following wards in Leicester: Spinney Hills, Thurncourt, Evington, Belgrave, and if you live outside these wards, please see our Befriending and Mentoring and Social Activities pages for options in your area.
Is this project free of charge?
Yes. This service is funded by the Big Lottery and is part of the Leicester Ageing Together project. It is free for you.
How can I access the project?
We welcome direct enquiries from anyone who would like our help to improve social opportunities for themselves and their community. Please contact our Project Coordinator, Jaishri Maisuria, on:
Telephone: 0116 299 2270
Also, if you would like to volunteer and share your hobbies and interests through Anything Goes do please get in contact.
Andreas and Peggy's Story — Finding old friends and new confidence.
Peggy & Andreas Stylianou from Evington found a helpful catalyst for community re-engagement through the Anything Goes group at Evington House.
Andreas and Peggy came to England in the early 1960’s from Cyprus and met in London when they both attended a Cypriot wedding. Andreas spotted Peggy across the room and determined, before even speaking to her, that he would marry her. True to his word, Andreas married Peggy in 1966 and they moved to Leicester 45 years ago with their baby daughter, completing their family with two sons who were born in Leicester.
The move signalled a career change for them both when they opened a take-away selling chicken and chips – cooked freshly by Peggy every day. Once they got their licence to sell fish and chips they opened shops in Main Street, Evington and then at Gypsy Lane, building up a loyal customer base and successful business which was eventually passed to their eldest son when he married.
Fifteen years ago, Andreas retired to enjoy more time with his beloved wife. Sadly, he has latterly suffered ill health and, since 2013, has had three strokes. This meant a big change for the couple; Andreas’ confidence was low leaving him unwilling to venture out of the house and Peggy became his carer.
Last year they were introduced to Age UK’s Nikky Miles and the Anything Goes project. Peggy told us: “I said to Andreas, ‘I’ll take you out’ but he didn’t want to go. Even the doctor tried to get him to go out and he wouldn’t. You have to have someone to start you off and we found that in Nikky. She encouraged him… she really helped my husband.”
Andreas and Peggy now attend the Anything Goes Evington House group every Wednesday morning. Andreas has learned how to play dominoes and enjoys a weekly game with friends at the group. They have also participated with indoor gardening and craft activities – all of which are helping Andreas to recover mentally and physically and to rebuild a social life based on his new found confidence. Alongside making new friends, they have rediscovered old ones at the group, meeting up with an ex-customer of their fish and chip shop, George, who came every Friday for chicken and chips and who they hadn’t seen for over 20 years. George had also suffered strokes and is facing similar challenges to Andreas so the two couples offer mutual support alongside their reminiscing.
Andreas is clear about how important the group has been to him: “I sat in this chair in my lounge for three years. Now I want to be more independent and to lose my Zimmer frame. I want to be able to walk with one stick like I used to before and I am starting to get there. All this stemmed from Nicky and I’m glad we met her. It’s made a big change for us and we look forward every week to Evington House. Since starting there I’m happy to go out anywhere.”
Our Anything Goes Leaflet provides more information on this service.