Table tennis has, once again, proved to be a critical ingredient in addressing social isolation.
Peterborough MUMs UK is a group tackling loneliness of local women, particularly in light of closure of local services pre COVID. The group heard of our ‘Level the Table’ funding and decided to apply to see whether the mums in their area might like to come together to learn how to play and make new friends. It has been a resounding success, establishing a flourishing table tennis group which is continuing even after the initial grant period has ended.
Project coordinator Faustina Yang, Peterborough MUMs UK told us:
‘Back in August 2022, we heard through Steve Harknett at Living Sport, Cambs, of Level the Table funding available via Table Tennis England, to enable more women and girls to play table tennis.’
‘Peterborough MUMS UK applied for this fund, and after successful assessment after obtained funding for 3 tables, bats and balls, and funding for hall hire and running cost of sessions.’
‘This funding has allowed us to run a programme for women and girls to play table tennis for free, it being particularly important to remove financial barriers in the crisis of cost of living, so that everyone can enjoy some exercise without worrying about the cost.’
‘The ladies who attend, say they love coming to the sessions, the exercise being good for their physical and mental health. We hear of new friendships being formed feeling less isolated, table tennis makes them happy!’
‘Some members have mobility issues know they can take regular breaks and all ladies know they can come along for tea and coffee and chat, as much as playing table tennis – it has become a wonderful friendly group!’
‘Following launch, we now benefit from Table Tennis England certified coaches, who help support us at sessions, so any new members are able to come without worrying about never ever played before as there will be someone on hand to teach and guide them.’
‘We have also formed a lovely volunteers group, helping to set up, tidy up, pack up, make tea/coffee/ wash up, the activities have helped us to form great bound and working relationships as volunteers.’
‘Thank you so much Table Tennis England and Colin Eley has been so helpful and supportive.
Now that 3 months is over, we are fortunate to receive funding from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation to continue offering sessions from April 2023. We are so grateful!’
If you’d like to find out more about setting up table tennis sessions for isolated communities in your area, please contact us.