The work of the Arsenal Foundation and the partners and initiatives it supports have touched the lives of a great number of people in a variety of ways
The Arsenal Foundation has helped fund fitness classes for the elderly at Caxton House Community Centre, they came and interviewed one of our users at the Friends & Fitness session.
Maisie Cooke, 72 (and a regular on the dance floor):
‘I retired in 2005, having spent my career working for the NHS – originally I was a nurse, but then I retrained as a midwife in Scotland before working at the Whittington, and it was a job I loved. I’ve seen a lot of the babies I delivered grow up in front of my eyes.
I lived in Morgan Mansions from 1976, then moved to just over the road from Caxton House in 1997. That’s how I found out about the fitness classes – I used to pop over to look at the leaflets.
I saw the class and thought, I fancy a bit of that. We mainly do stretching and dancing, and there’s good music. Very loud music! I come on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and we do it for an hour, and it keeps me active. When I retired I damaged my spine, my hip and my shoulder, and I was told that exercise was good. When I came here first I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it, but then I found that the pain is gone – or not exactly gone, but better. I can move about very easily now.
I come to other classes too – I used to do archery on a Monday but that class is finished now, and on Tuesday I also go to the craft class and then the computer class. On Wednesday I was doing art class but I haven’t been for a few weeks. They’re very good classes, very popular, and I learn a lot of things. I cross-stitch and it’s amazing, and I do sewing as well.
I’ve made new friends and it’s very happy here. Everyone is so kind and generous to each other, and very helpful. It’s quite loving as well. We visit each other sometimes and go out together – to the Hilton every first Friday. The teachers are lovely and they make the classes more exciting, so you want to come. You know, you go to some places and find the people are funny, but when you come here it’s just a family gathering.
My son is an Arsenal fan so maybe I will cross-stitch him an Arsenal scarf. I think it’s great that the club is very helpful in the community because some elderly people don’t get out of the house, and the only way to get out is to come to the club here. It takes you out of the house and definitely keeps you fit.
Download the interview My Story here.