Gosnells council gives back to its seniors

Local resident Jean Evans plays cards every Thursday at the Addie Mills Centre. Photo: Matt Robson.

Jean Evans, who turns 80 next week, says community services provided by the City of Gosnells are vital to her wellbeing.

She’s one of many seniors who benefit from community events and services such as weekly bingo, card games, lunchtime meals, knitting and an onsite hairdresser.

The City of Gosnells recently moved these services into the Addie Mills Centre.

Ms Evans says since her husband passed away, she spends most of her week attending to her garden and reading by herself, making the City of Gosnells services invaluable.

“This is the only time really I get to relax and be stupid, to come and enjoy myself with others. I don’t have much contact with my two children, they’re busy living their own lives,” she says.

“These people here are my family. They have been my lifeblood. I have so many friends here. If ever I have a problem or a worry I have the phone numbers of all the people here. Those are the reasons this place here is so important to me.”

The City of Gosnells has been making a conscious effort in recent years to ensure senior residents are still able to get out and engage with the community.

The Addie Mills Centre attracts more than 100 senior residents a week for their programs. Photo: Matt Robson.

Recent events such as the Akwaaba African Drumming Workshops, Welcome to the City of Gosnells Festival and the relocation of various local library activities to the Addie Mills Centre have seen an influx of senior residents becoming more involved in the community.

City of Gosnells mayor Terresa Lynes says keeping seniors mentally active is as important as keeping them physically active, to contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

“We value our seniors and offer lots of programs to keep them active, help them to feel involved in our community and so that they feel valued,” she says.

She says the city would like to do more to capture the value of local seniors, and she is happy to help seniors in whatever way possible, including advertising services and programs for seniors as extensively as possible.

Each program at the AMC has a general attendance between 10 to 30 residents, with the social club having 120 active members. According to centre management, overall attendance has been growing significantly over the last three years as more programs are introduced.

Jean Evans considers the programs and people at Addie Mills as the most important part of her life. Photo: Matt Robson.

Dorothy Pedley, 83, says the centre provides her with the chance to enjoy activities she wouldn’t be able to at home.

“I notice in the local paper that there are things like men’s woodshops and cutting, and then us older people come for things like cards and other activities in this building. So I would suggest it is a reasonable service that they give us.

“For me, I live in Amaroo [Retirement Village]. So for me to get out and interact with people is essential for me because I’m social. I’m a people person.”