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The Good Times roll at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

RUGBY Art Gallery and Museum has launched a new project to help improve the health and wellbeing of older people in the town.

The Good TimesThe Good Times has secured £7,270 funding from Public Health Warwickshire, and includes a range of free sessions tailored to tackle loneliness and isolation by increasing social interaction.

Sessions include Games Through The Ages, where visitors can socialise while playing a variety of classic board games, and Treasure Talking, where visitors can share memories inspired by items from the museum's social history collection.

The Good Times also includes craft sessions and special events aimed at bringing different generations together.

The Good Times' first special event took place this week when the Art Gallery and Museum hosted a 1950s Tea Party, complete with a DJ and dance display by Strictly Jitterbug.

Thursday's (18 August) event attracted more than 400 visitors and also included board games, dressing up and a display of period items from the museum collection.

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum hosts Good Times sessions every week, while monthly sessions also take place at Age UK's Claremont Centre, in Clifton Road, and the Hospital of St Cross.

The sessions at the Claremont Centre and St Cross, and the craft sessions at the Art Gallery and Museum, have been specifically designed to cater for older people and carers living with dementia.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "I'm delighted Public Health Warwickshire has supported such an innovative project.

"The Good Times aims to help older people develop new friendships, build confidence and, most importantly, have fun in a relaxed, sociable setting.

"By placing particular emphasis on supporting older people and carers living with dementia, the project also offers a welcome break from routine and can help create a sense of place and purpose for those who have become lonely and isolated."

For more information about The Good Times, visit www.ragm.co.uk/goodtimes or call (01788) 533217.

Photo caption: (left to right) Joanne Bailey, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's arts development officer, the Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Sally Bragg, Jessica Hartshorn, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's learning and outreach officer, and the Strictly Jitterbug dancers at the 1950s tea party.

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