Older Wiser Local Seniors (OWLS) is the Neighbourhood Network Scheme for Headingley, Burley, Hyde Park, Little Woodhouse and parts of Kirkstall. Neighbourhood Network Schemes are unique to Leeds and there is one in every part of the city. OWLS was established in 2011 with members, volunteers and staff transferring from Older Active People (OAP).
We provide a broad range of preventative health activities including regular trips, Open Door Dementia Cafe at the New Headingley Club, Gentle Exercise at St Michael’s Church Hall, Bollywood films at Hyde Park Picture House, three lunch clubs including Caribbean Lunch and a fortnightly Lads-only Lunch. Older and younger people can also get involved by helping out as a volunteer with groups, transport, befriending and more. OWLS membership is free to anyone aged sixty and above living in our area. For more information, please call or go to our website www.owlsleeds.org
Our most recent project involves a new worker, Joanne McManus, who is leading a lottery-funded scheme encouraging older people to help themselves by helping others. Joanne has previously worked in mental health and with older people. She also has significant experience of working locally with volunteers, having helped run the Real Junkfood café and she’s currently volunteering on the committee for Unity Day. Joanne hopes to use this experience to encourage older people to share their skills and life experience to help combat social isolation.
OWLS works with a broad range of other local community organisations including HEART, Hyde Park Picture House, Headingley Music Festival, Kirkstall Festival and Unity Day, just to mention some. The project also aims to strengthen these connections. We want to do our bit to make Leeds the best city in which to grow old and are always keen to welcome new members, volunteers and to collaborate with other organisations and groups.