Chesyln Hay Table Tennis club were recently awarded the Volunteering Support for the Over 65’s Award from South Staffordshire for their Bat & Chat Initiative.

The programme was set up two years ago and has offered older people the opportunity to play a game of table tennis whilst enjoying a drink and a chat with other likeminded people at the session.

Club secretary John Quinn said: “The session was set up to help reduce social isolation and to help people suffering with depression in the over 65’s. It has enabled people to come together as a community, to support one another and to help make each other’s lives a better place to be, knowing now that they have a place to come to and meet people on a weekly basis.”

The Bat and Chat attracts upwards of 20 players per session and the club are now looking at providing another weekly session to help cope with the demand from people.

Not only has the session helped to improve people’s lives but it has to increase the club’s membership and secure its future going forwards. The club now enters eight teams in the local Walsall league, with some of the Bat & Chat players now playing in the teams.

Most of the participants are delighted with having won the award and celebrated by having a Christmas meal together. Mr Quinn further commented, “We didn’t start doing the initiative for any recognition, but just to help get people out of their houses and come down for a cup of tea or coffee, a biscuit and a chat. I hope it can inspire other clubs and community groups to do projects like this, and I want everyone at Cheslyn Hay Table Tennis Club to be proud of themselves at having won this prestigious award.”

Table Tennis England provide useful digital marketing resources to help your club or Community Group promote Bat & Chat. To find out more please click here.