MHA Communities Harrogate manager Sue Oliver
MHA Communities Harrogate manager Sue Oliver

New Local MHA Communities Scheme Helps Connect Older People in Harrogate

6 January 2021

Older people in Harrogate will soon have an enhanced network of support and friendship at hand thanks to national charity MHA opening a new local scheme.

MHA Communities Harrogate will offer new forms of activities and support for those who would like more social contact and to expand their interests, including a new digital programme. During the ongoing Covid restrictions, this will initially focus on providing members with telephone or video befriending by volunteers and access to online activities, as well as digital support to help them get online and stay connected with their family, friends and local community.

MHA are also looking into building into their programme for Harrogate members the highly successful Music Therapy for dementia care, which is already provided for some of our MHA residents across the country.

The new scheme will be working in an innovative partnership with Wesley Centre in the heart of Harrogate to grow and enrich their existing social groups and provide additional digital activities and befriending for the congregations of Wesley Chapel and other churches
across the Nidd Valley Methodist Circuit.

MHA Communities Harrogate manager Sue Oliver said:

We are delighted to be partnering with Wesley Centre to help more people make new friendships and reduce loneliness and social isolation.

MHA has been supporting older people in Harrogate since 1946 when it opened its second care home Berwick Grange and this was followed by the opening of Martin Grange retirement apartments in 2006. The addition of a new MHA Community in Harrogate offers
a complete and exciting service for people in later life in the local community, our residents in care and retirement living, as well as church members in the Nidd Valley Methodist Circuit, enabling them to keep active, engaged and enjoying social contact.

We expect our membership across Harrogate to grow quickly in the coming months, friendships to be forged and new activities to be decided on so that older people have something motivating to look forward to which enables them to live later life well.


Reverend Ben Clowes, Superintendent Minister, Nidd Valley Circuit, added:

I’m very pleased to see our strong connections with MHA developing through this partnership with the Wesley Centre. Working together, there is huge potential to expand what’s on offer and grow relationships with our more elderly friends.


For over 30 years, MHA has been running Communities (formerly Live at Home schemes) across the country, which have helped tackle loneliness and isolation for over 12,000 older people who live independently in their own home.

The local schemes offer a wide variety of services for their members ranging from exercise classes, craft activities, lunch clubs and men’s groups to support with shopping trips, days out, short holidays and befriending, depending on what members would like to do.

To find out about becoming a member or volunteering for MHA Communities Harrogate, please contact Sue Oliver at or on 07340 745140.

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