Mothers Union – helping to realise their potential
It’s never too late to realise your true potential and make a difference. Windmills teamed up with the Mothers’ Union to have no regrets on Sunday.
Those individuals who sit on our model of the ‘weekenders’ (those on Saturday and Sunday in the week of their life – 60+) are a fast growing community. By 2030, 70% of the population of cities such as Liverpool will be 70 or over, many of whom will have acute medical problems, potentially costing the tax payer billions of pounds across the UK. Helping the elderly population lead more active, connected, purposeful and independent lives has major social, economic, and well-being benefits.
Windmills is proud of its unique involvement and contribution across the age spectrum, from primary pupils to pensioners, 4 to 94 year olds and beyond. So when we were asked by the Mothers Union to deliver a No Regrets programme in a local village hall, we jumped at the chance.
The programme, like many of our sessions for people a quarter of the age, focussed on lifelong career learning topics, including celebrating skills, exploring roles, connecting with others, giving something back and releasing potential. The No Regrets on Sunday resources and book were used as the basis of this programme – click here to find out more. Activities were designed to stimulate discussion among peers, raise aspirations of what can still be achieved in life and agree personal action plans for the future.
25 members of the Mothers Union engaged in the process, each gaining a different insight into both their own lives and those around them. Many had lost loved ones and realised the importance of ‘giving something back’ in small ways to regain a sense of purpose and meaning each day. Outcomes gained from the process included spending more time with grandchildren, helping out at the luncheon club and volunteering in the local primary school to help children with reading and music. Other learning and playing actions included enrolling with the University of the Third Age, starting a walking group, joining a bridge club and buying a season ticket for the orchestra.
The most powerful exercise for this group was undoubtedly “What roles do you play?” While each member had the role of ‘mother’ in common, the role of ‘mother-in-law’ provoked considerable conversation and debate! Some roles in life we inherit such as child, brother, sister, grandchild. Others we have control over and can change over time, such as, student, worker, manger, friend, volunteer. But some are given to us later on in life, and they may change the dynamics of existing roles and relationships as result.