Meet Noodle the Goldies Labradoodle!

By Jamie Hill - 7 May 2019


A very special 10th birthday will be celebrated in Swindon on Thursday May 16. The Golden-Oldies Charity, more fondly known as ‘Goldies’, started in the Town 10 years ago. The venue is Toothill Community Centre, Village Centre, Swindon SN5 8DH from 10.30am-12.00pm.

Goldies is all about fun daytime Songs & Smiles for older people, many who may live in isolation. Based on the popular memory-evoking songs of the 50s and onwards, Goldies sessions have grown across Swindon in the past 10 years supported by Swindon Borough Council.

Many are led by Alison Dawn, a well-known local singer whose devotion to the charity has paid a great part to its progress. Alison has a very supportive helper – her Labradoodle called Noodle – who the folk attending all the sessions love to see when he arrives with Alison to take each session.

Apart from daytime weekly sessions in sheltered housing community rooms there is also a monthly sing at Coleview Community Centre on the first Thursday of each month from 10.30am-11.30am. The new monthly session will be at the Toothill Community Centre on the third Thursday of each month from 10.30am-11.30am.

Grenville Jones is the founder of the Goldies Charity, born and bred in Swindon himself he has taken the charity on its exciting journey to the point where today it runs nearly 200 Sing & Smile sessions across England and Wales as well as an award-winning schools intergenerational programme. He is a regular face on TV, most recently as one of the ‘100’ judges on the BBC Saturday night ‘All Together Now’ series.

There will be over 190 Sing & Smile sessions across England and Wales by the end of 2019.

Grenville said: “Alison is one of our brilliant session leaders. The folk attending the session simply love to go along and they always make a fuss of Noodle who has become very much part of our Swindon Goldies team – yes he’s a definitely a Goldies Labradoodle!”

Alison added: “Our sessions give the folk something to look forward to, a week can be a very long time in a lonely life. By bringing everyone together regularly friendships & bonds are strong, this is so important for older folk. The opportunities to make friends & enjoy  company lessen with age.

“Many things we take for granted as younger able people. If you imagine for a moment all the daily opportunities we have to socialise being gone, you will realise how extremely important our sessions are to our Swindon Goldies. My weekly sheltered accommodation sessions are in particular a lifeline to many of the attendees.

“And Noodle has made so many new friends!”

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