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'No doctor could prescribe it -it is more than therapeutic: VIP comes to Ilford

PUBLISHED: 17:21 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:23 13 August 2019

The room was filled with happy faces. Picture: Ellena Cruse

The room was filled with happy faces. Picture: Ellena Cruse

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A VIP came to Ilford on Friday to meet more than 250 senior citizens.

The high commissioner Seth Ramocan with a participant. Picture: Ellena CruseThe high commissioner Seth Ramocan with a participant. Picture: Ellena Cruse

The Jamaican high commissioner took a trip to Ilford Sports Club, Cricklefield Place, to visit the Ageless Teenagers project - a programme which tackles both social isolation in later years and youth violence by organising joint socials between young and old.

Speaking at the tea party event on August 9, his excellency Seth George Ramocan said: "It is quite a unique event, it is the coming together of senior citizens who have recaptured their youth and are really enjoying themselves to the maximum through warm relationships, through having a meal together through dancing and that kind of thing.

"It a lifestyle that helps perpetuate good health - it is such a good thing to encourage.

"They started just a year ago with about 30 people and are up to around 350 now."

Guests took to the dance floor. Picture: Ellena CruseGuests took to the dance floor. Picture: Ellena Cruse

The project can cater for more people thanks to a Lottery grant of £50,000 and Sade Johnson, Ageless Teenagers Fundraiser said she was delighted and elated to be part of the project.

"What I like so much about this is that they are the Windrush generation and they have so much to contribute and they have been neglected and here is an opportunity to bring them together and other sections of the community and celebrate their knowledge and contribution and recognise it and give something back to them because they have done so much to enable us to be here and enable us to benefit.

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"I think the whole country benefits from the Windrush generation - it helped to develop British infrastructure - we are the fabric of this country and we deserve some recognition for that and I am glad to be a small part of that. It is very humbling."
Ageless Teenager co-founder Weininger Irwin said the project helps to guide young people and make the right choices.

Guests enjoyed goat, jerk chicken and rice. Picture: Ellena CruseGuests enjoyed goat, jerk chicken and rice. Picture: Ellena Cruse

"It's a group of seniors which not only meets to stop isolation but builds a future for youth.

"The group brings the community together and I can't even describe the feeling in the room when everyone is together.

"No doctor could prescribe it - it is more than therapeutic.

"CEO of Camelot, Nigel Railton also visited the event after a colleague told him the energy in the room could only be experienced first hand.

The meal took place across two sports halls. Picture: Ellena CruseThe meal took place across two sports halls. Picture: Ellena Cruse

"I think it is making a massive difference - when people buy lottery tickets these things happen," he said.

"These guys have had £50,000 and you can see the difference it is making.

"It is getting bigger and bigger and it is just fantastic."

As well as enjoying Caribbean music, dancing and talks, participants were treated to curried goat, jerk chicken, and rum punch. 
For more information contact agelessteenagers.com

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