A charity boss has set up an over 50s social group after she "spotted a gap in the community".

Jayne Allman, chief executive of Banana Enterprise, the charity which has recently been granted funding to transform Rock Hall in Moses Gate Country Park, has formed a group after residents approached her saying they have had trouble meeting new friends, are feeling isolated and just want to have some fun.

Jayne asked people on social media their thoughts about a new social group, and she has so far been inundated with people eager to come together and make friends.

She initially thought only a small number of people would be interested.

Jayne said: “We have decided to create an informal group because when we have talked to people in the past, especially people over 50, they have been saying to us that they have trouble meeting new friends, there is nothing to do in their local area, there is nowhere to go and things cost money. And some older people are afraid to go out at night because they’re on their own, or they feel socially isolated.

“So, I have been thinking about setting up a group for a while, its not going to be an official part of our charity but I just want to see where it goes really.

“I asked residents in Farnworth if this would be something they would be interested in and I was shocked as we had 61 responses, I thought I would only get 10 or 12 people interested.

“And not only that, but everyone said there was a need for a social group for over 50s.

“I understand how some of the people interested feel, whether that be that they feel lonely, they’re single, their partners have died, or their friends have moved away or even that sometimes their partners don’t have the same interests.

“We have been inundated.”

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The Bolton News: Previous activities put on by the charity before the introduction of the social group have included painting in Moses Gate Country ParkPrevious activities put on by the charity before the introduction of the social group have included painting in Moses Gate Country Park (Image: Jayne Allman)Jayne said the group will offer a range of activities, some that will have to be paid for but also some that are free.

She said: “The group will have all sorts of activities taking place including day trips on coaches that would need to be paid for by each individual, days at the park including games, picnics, walks and more.

“Theatre trips were really popular options that people are keen to do as part of the group and I have applied for funding so people can go on two trips to the theatre each year with their tickets paid for, but we have to wait to see if we can get funding for that.

“This is a free membership group, but certain activities are not free, people will have to pay for their tickets and meals out.

“It is not totally free, but there will also be free activities too, we are just trying to get people together and cheer people up.”

Jayne said she feels like this group will make a real difference to people’s lives.

She added: “I feel like this group will help people to forge new friendships and get them out of the house and allow them to look forward to something that is happening.

“I just want to make a difference and bring people together, there is so much doom and gloom out there.

“I am fortunate because I have my husband, but some people don’t and they’re on their own and they do feel quite alone.

“We spotted a gap in the community and I’m doing it for myself as well as the community, we just want to offer some fun.

“The group is for all genders and is for anyone over the age of 50.”

If you would like to join the over 50s social group, contact info@bananaenterprise.co.uk.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.