Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham helped to launch Latics Extra Time Hub at Leigh Miners Welfare Institute on Thursday morning.
Run by Wigan Athletic Community Trust staff, the new session in Leigh continues the ongoing commitment by Latics to become a more age-friendly organisation.
Andy enjoyed a number of activities with members including table tennis, curling and archery with the programme aiming to make a positive different to the lives of retired and semi-retired people.
He said: “I have loved it and it’s brilliant to see everyone getting together, especially people who potentially don’t know each other, doing some gentle activities. It’s something I believe we need much more of in all communities.
“As a resident of this borough, I see how much Wigan Athletic Community Trust do across the community and they deserve great credit for what they do, touching all age groups, young and old, and over the years they have gone from strength to strength.
“Going forward we need to have a culture of activity in all of our communities and the Community Trust are leading the way on that.”
Funded by the National Lottery and Sport England and backed by the EFL Trust, the Extra Time Hub offers a range of activities and also the chance to meet and spend time with other like-minded people from the area.
The Community Trust also run a session at the DW Stadium every Tuesday afternoon between 1pm-3pm.
Christine Blundell, Extra Time Hub Activator for Wigan Athletic, said: “Extra Time is one of the projects that Wigan Athletic Community Trust offer to our ageing community and specifically for semi-retired or retired people in the community.
“We offer a variety of activities on the weekly sessions, anything from a quiz to table tennis with the aim of getting like-minded people together to tackle loneliness and social isolation and overall improve health and wellbeing.
“We have been running a session at the DW Stadium for nearly a year and had a huge success with it with over 50 members signed up and an average of 25 members attending a week. It’s done so well we wanted to bring it across the borough to Leigh.”
Doreen Cummins recently started attending the session in Leigh and says it is exactly what she needed.
“I enjoy the social aspect of Extra Time; chatting to other members and having a go at the number of different activities like the quiz.
“It’s great having it in Leigh because I can walk to the session and everything about it is right for me, there are nice people here and I’ve met new friends as well.
“You feel good when you go home because you’ve had a laugh, you’ve enjoyed your afternoon and you don’t feel like you’ve wasted a day.”
Sessions are £3 per week, with your first session free. Refreshments also provided.
To find out more information about the Extra Time Hub, please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Extra Time Hub Activator Christine Blundell on email@example.com or call 01942 318090.