The Gibraltar Senior Citizens Association has been in existence for over 18 years. During this time, they have spoken to and have heard the concerns and anxieties of literally hundreds of senior citizens. Unquestionably, loneliness is the most common and most aggravating situation which most widows and widowers face and dread each day. The vast majority agree that mornings are not so bad as most go out and meet people over a cup of coffee, or simply meet in Main Street. The hours seem to fade quicker and life is somewhat more tolerable. Unquestionably, ladies organise themselves much better than men and we see and know of groups of ladies who meet and enjoy each other’s company during regular coffee mornings.

They tell us that afternoons and evenings become endless in complete solitude with no one to speak to; no one to exchange ideas or reminisce of days gone by. Some tell us they dread going to bed early, as they wake up in the middle of the night regretting having retired so early as the silent hours seem without end.

Watching Channel 5 over a few weeks we learnt that in UK someone had the marvellous idea of organising low key tea parties for the elderly. Twelve volunteers would take it in turn to provide tea, biscuits and a chance of company once a month. No great sacrifice involved, and a number of senior citizens all look forward to their tea and biscuits with people of their age group. Can we organise something similar – or totally different – for our elderly, on a regular basis? The Care Agency does a fantastic job and fill up their centre with seniors, but they cannot cope with the many elderly people in our community, and these lonely people need extra support.

This association organised an exercise group years back and originally only a small number of ladies attended and a sprinkling of men who soon withdrew. In next to no time the group grew and grew until eventually the association was pleased to hand the venture to a committee which the ladies formed themselves into and are still active years later.

Similarly the association felt the need for a prostate cancer support group and without much ado, asked for volunteers to form a committee which we chaired. A few meetings later, the association left the group in the very capable hands of their own committee who are very successfully looking after patients, organising awareness events and offering advice.

A note from the association: Any groups or individuals interested in getting involved, please phone the Senior Citizens Association on 20078282 or email gibseniors@gibtelecom.net to get the ball rolling. We have successfully organised and founded two very important groups in our community, there is no reason why we cannot do it again and organise another.

Give us a call, together we can and shall look after our elderly!