When retired warehouseman Harry Horrocks, aged 76, was asked what brought joy to his life, he simply said on a message board that he loved to “Travel to the seaside”.
Thanks to Harry, who visits the Grafton Centre in Hyde, Greater Manchester every week day, the Bring Joy Foundation funded a VIP day trip to the seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales.
But the trip wasn’t just for Harry – he got to take 95 members from the centre with him too.
They boarded two luxury coaches to Llandudno for the day out, which featured a VIP lunch at the 4 star Imperial Hotel and live jazz music from the Moon Dance Band.
Free time followed, with members setting off to Llandudno’s attractions including tram rides up to the Great Orme, visiting The Home Front Museum, which celebrates life in the 1940s, walks on the seafront and a spin round the shops.
And for the most young at heart of the group, Barry Holt, Kath Whitfield and Edna Edge – a turn on the teacups on Llandudno Pier.
“I loved trips to the seaside as a child, my mam and dad used to take me and it’s something I’ve never grown out of,” said Harry. “It’s feeling the sea breeze on my face, watching the waves and enjoying the bustle of the seaside.
“I got to share the thing that brings me joy with lots of other members of the Grafton Centre. We were all treated like VIPs for the day, it was just grand.”
Sam Brocklebank, the charity’s co-founder, said: “Our charity exists to fund the little things that can make a big difference to older people’s lives. We felt that helping Harry to share his love of the seaside with fellow members from the Grafton Centre was the perfect first donation for us.”
The Grafton Centre offers a range of health and wellbeing activities for people over the age of 55, including indoor bowls, Zumba classes, a daily Lunch Club with a Friday Fine Dining Club, a Chit Chat group with a host of other activities to choose from each week. The centre is starting on a journey to become a Development Trust, which will see it managed by the community instead of the Council.