OLDER people in Hereford tried creative writing for the first time recently at Royal Voluntary Service Hereford Hub in Hereford.

Professional writer and storyteller Carol Florence Graham led a creative writing workshop with a range of activities to enjoy the beauty of the written and spoken word.

The free workshop was part of First Time for Everything, a programme designed by Royal Voluntary Service and Prudential to give older people in Hereford (and across the UK) an opportunity to try something new for free in their local community.

Staying active and social have been proven to be important to keeping fit and well in older age.

Research by Royal Voluntary Service last year found that two thirds (65 per cent) of people aged 60 and over wanted to try a new activity, but three in ten (29 per cent) felt there weren't enough local opportunities to do so. Keen to address this, the charity joined forces with Prudential to launch the First Time for Everything programme.

Lorna Haseldine, service manager for Royal Voluntary Service Hereford Hub, says: "It's been wonderful to see so many local people enjoying our First Time for Everything activities. Thanks to funding from Prudential, we have lots more exciting events coming up and hope that even more older people, their carers and families will come along. It's never too late to try something for the first time."

The next Prudential First Time for Everything event in Hereford will be Sing Along with Will on Wednesday, October 24 at 2pm.

Royal Voluntary Service relies on support from local volunteers to help run First Time for Everything events and other social activities and is looking for more volunteers to join its friendly, dedicated team.

Lorna says: "For anyone with a few hours to spare, volunteering is a great way to get involved in the local community. Our volunteers are a wonderful bunch of people – many are aged 60 and over - and they really enjoy the buzz they get from helping others."

For more information about Prudential First Time for Everything activities and other services for older people in Hereford, contact Lorna Haseldine on 01432 273590, email herefordshirehub@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk or visit royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/get-help/social-activities/social-events. To find out more about local volunteering opportunities, visit royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteer