STAFF and volunteers at the St Helens and Warrington Oddfellows were thrilled to discover they have been shortlisted for a national Fantastic for Families Award within the Best Age-Friendly Welcome category.

The Awards, which set to showcase the UK’s best family-friendly organisations and contributors to arts and culture, have included the Best Age-Friendly category to recognise venues and organisations which have made an exceptional effort to ensure that older visitors within their communities can access a wide range of activities and events.

Julie Webster, social organiser for the branch, said: “We pride ourselves on being accessible to everybody, but we also recognise the challenges presented in later life for our members.

"Ensuring our events are spread out over the week and at different times of day helps to provide a fun and varied calendar of events for the older generation to get involved with. We also make sure that the events are either free or keep the costs down to ensure that they are affordable for people on low incomes."

Based on North Road, the friendship group brings together people from all ages and walks of life, to support and value each other. Care, compassion and community values are at the heart of its regular events, and is reflected in its national Friendship Month community campaign which takes place each year during September.

Julie added: “Making and maintaining new friends in later life doesn’t come as easy as it did in the school yard, so as a group we meet regularly so we can stay in touch with others, share some laughs, as well as look out for each other.”

The Society’s events calendar has a diverse range of activities for all ages, day trips, coffee mornings, craft sessions and group holidays. The next events sees a Tea, Toast and Talk at 17 North Road on Thursday, January, 24 at 10.30am.

To find out more and to receive their latest events diary, contact Julie Webster on 01744 895536 or email

The winners of the Fantastic for Families Awards are due to be announced on Monday, February 11 at an awards ceremony in Liverpool.

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