A Home Away from Home

For nearly 30 years, Club Enliven Dunedin (formerly ‘Maybank’) has met in the Maybank Lounge at Ross Home in Dunedin’s North East Valley, but now they have a new home.

Available to people over age 65, Club Enliven Dunedin meets three days a
week, with up to 25 clients a day gathering together to enjoy a range of activities: board games, ‘Sit and be fit’, historical talks, quizzes, speakers, indoor bowls, musicians and entertainers. These activities connect older people in a fun, friendly environment, and provides activities, meaningful occupation, and
a sense of community.

Club Enliven Dunedin is a very popular service which meets a real need among older people in our community. It was so popular, that it became a problem!

Club Enliven Dunedin outgrew the facilities in the Maybank Lounge. The premises were very cramped, it was difficult for people to move around the room reducing interactions, and older lounge furniture was difficult for people to get in and out of.  The lack of space meant that clients enjoyment of and benefit from attending Club Enliven Dunedin was not as effective as it
could be.

Fortunately, a solution presented itself. The First Church manse, situated behind Presbyterian Support Otago’s Support Centre, became available to Club Enliven Dunedin as its new home. Because it was formerly a family home, the manse has lots of different-sized rooms which clients can move easily between to enjoy a range of different activities. It also means they can spend time with different people throughout the day, reinforcing friendships and providing new engagement opportunities. The Manse also has plenty of room in the grounds for drop offs and pick-ups, is fully accessible, and has a lovely outdoor area which can become a regular part
of activities.

The move has been a success – “it’s a great little venue”, says client John. There are though some challenges with a new space which are being worked through. Volunteer Olwyn loves to have interactions with the clients while she goes about her duties but has found this is restricted now the kitchen is separate. Hot lunches are prepared at Ross Home in bulk and so more time is required to prepare individual meals once these are on the site. Challenges like these will be overcome in time, as clients and volunteers settle into their new ‘home’.

Moving into summer, there are some things which would make the manse an even better venue for Club Enliven Dunedin members. Coordinator, Marilyn Withnall, says that over summer, they’d like to move some activities into the outdoors so clients can enjoy the gardens, and get some fresh air and sunlight.

With the help from our community there are many opportunities for support. If you would like to help out by making a financial donation, you can here.

From Marilyn and all the Club Enliven Clients