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Feros Care client Alan smiling into the camera

783 Virtual Social Centre sessions in one year!

Why Alan describes the platform as a ‘godsend’ 

There’s a reason lovable Feros Care client, Alan, is affectionately known as ‘All-Rounder Alan’ in our office. This beautifully-spoken senior clocked up a whopping 783 Virtual Social Centre (VSC) sessions across a variety of topics last year alone – and he has no intention of slowing down. 

The antidote to lockdown 

Like many people, the Covid-19 pandemic was a very difficult time for 75-year-old Alan. After experiencing blood pressure issues and being referred to Feros Care for monitoring via the Virtual Nursing program, he discovered the groundbreaking VSC platform. 

“I was extremely isolated during Covid which was quite a harrowing experience for anyone, let alone someone living alone,” he reflects.  

“When I heard about the VSC, I had no hesitations at all. I thought it sounded like a great way to connect and socialise when there was no other way to do so.”  

This proved to be a life-changing decision and three years on, he has never looked back. In fact, his passion for the platform has only continued to gain momentum, with Alan holding the record for attending the most VSC sessions in 2023! 

Fuelling old passions and inspiring new ones 

With different interests and a willingness to try new things, Alan was spoilt for choice with the wide range of sessions available on the VSC. 

Being a music lover from way back, he jumped at the chance to join those with a musical element.  

“I signed up for ‘Sing to Feel Good’, as I had always wanted to learn how to hold a tune,” he says.  

Continuing in this vein, he also joined the VSC’s ukulele classes, to expand his instrumental repertoire.  

“I can play acoustic guitar so thought this was a good fit for me,” says Alan. “It’s been terrific because lessons are very expensive but this way, I’ve learned how to play and can socialise at the same time.”  

When highlighting his favourite sessions, Alan speaks very enthusiastically about ‘Meditation and Mindfulness’ which he assures us, “helps soothe the nerves.” He also enjoys a spot of ‘Trivia’ which “is good fun and keeps the mind active.” 

Plus, he says his writing has improved significantly with ‘The Write Time,’ where participants are given a topic to write about, documenting their unique story to share with the group.  

“I love hearing everyone’s take on something, from different perspectives. There are some amazing writers in these sessions, which continue to inspire me to become a better writer.” 

Feros Care client Alan with his guitar

Fun meets friendship 

Although all VSC sessions promote connectivity and nurture new friendships, there are some groups dedicated purely to having a natter, sharing ideas and stories over a virtual cuppa, catching up with familiar faces (and meeting new ones!), and just enjoying each other’s company. 

 Alan chats with other VSC members in these groups, including ‘The Man’s Cave’. Explaining you don’t need to be a handyman (“I can barely hammer a nail into a piece of wood,” he laughs), it’s the perfect place to shoot the breeze with a bunch of like-minded people, and for Alan to get his social fix.  

Staying active – the VSC way! 

Being an active person, sessions that help build and maintain fitness are especially exciting for Alan. 

Participating in ‘Gentle Dance’, he gets a low-medium intensity workout, served with a side of banger tunes from years gone by – and a whole lot of fun.  

 Alan is also a fan of ‘Broadway Dance’, another medium-intensity class where he dances along to his favourite songs from the stage and screen. 

And, as he’s a bit of a VSC exercise session veteran with good overall fitness and balance, Total Body Workout suits him to a tea, describing it as ‘top drawer.’  

More benefits than you can poke a stick at 

When you’ve attended nearly 800 sessions in a year, it’s no surprise to hear Alan talk about the life-changing benefits of the VSC. 

“It’s been an absolute godsend for me – I couldn’t emphasise that more,” he says. 

“It’s improved my social life no-end, I’ve learned new skills, met lots of people, and the facilitators have all been terrific. They’re very supportive.”  

He continues; “It’s been so enlightening coming across people who are in a more difficult position than I am with such a ‘never say die’ attitude. It’s a real privilege to know them and be their friend.” 

We have it on good authority, Alan, that they feel the same way.

To find out more about how the Virtual Social Centre can help you stay connected and active in both mind and body, click here. 

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