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Open Age to get active on National Lottery Live

5th Rhagfyr 2013

Age is no barrier to an active life for the guests on this week’s National Lottery Live TV show.

Open Age run more than 350 weekly activities to help older people across central London maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.

The West London-based organisation, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has received more than £1 million of National Lottery funding and works with more than 1000 people each week including one aged 103!

Project director Helen Leech and 91-year-old Sonia Kent from Kensington, who not only participates in sessions but volunteers a day a week to work on Open Age’s busy reception, will join host Chris Evans on the BBC One show this Saturday 7 December at 9.50pm.

Mrs Leech said: “Open Age works with older people aged 50 to beyond 100 to help sustain their physical and mental fitness and develop new interests.

“National Lottery funding has enabled us to make a real difference to the lives of older people. Our activities are designed to help to reduce loneliness and isolation and allow those taking part to learn new skills in a warm and friendly social environment.

“Activities vary from those which are health and fitness related such as yoga, Tai Chi and zumba to educational, creative and performing arts and computer classes. We also provide a valuable outreach service to support those most at risk of isolation to attend activities, as well as an employment programme to help those over 50 struggling to find work .

“Age is no barrier to our members as we assist them live full and active lives.”

Mrs Kent added: “I joined Open Age because I lost my husband and wanted to go somewhere where I could take part in activities and meet up with others .

“I currently participate in singing and ‘steady and stable’ exercise classes and also volunteer.

“I get a great deal of pleasure from attending, have met some wonderful friends and it has made a tremendous difference to my life

Jackie O'Sullivan, from the National Lottery, said: "The National Lottery funds many fantastic projects which make a massive difference to the lives of older people.

"We are delighted to be able to showcase the magnificent work of Open Age to an audience of millions. It is important that National Lottery players know how their money is helping provide such a valuable and dedicated service and giving older people a new lease of life.”

National Lottery players raise more than £33 million for projects each week, and since 1994 a staggering £30 billion has been raised for more than 420,000 projects across arts, sport, heritage, and community projects.

To find out more about how National Lottery players' are supporting people, projects and places throughout the UK visit


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Notes to Editors

For further information please contact: Ruairi O’Kane at the National Lottery on 07788 612804 or ruairi.o’

For information on Open Age contact director Helen Leech on 020 8964 1900 or 07730 218970 or visit their website

Open Age has received more than £1 million of National Lottery funding through the Big Lottery Fund and organises activities in Kensington, Westminster, Hammersmith, Fulham and Chelsea.

Pic Caption - The Open Age W10 Warblers including Sonia Kent (front row, 2nd right) during a recent performance. Other pics available on request.

The National Lottery Live will be broadcast on BBC One on Saturday 7 December at 21:50.