5 on the fly: ways to make connections and meet new friends

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You don’t have to be out on the town every night, but if you’re retired and the kids have moved out, here are five ways to use your extra time to make new friends …

Chirpy Plus

Safe, secure, friendly and welcoming – that’s the promise from Chirpy Plus, an Australian website focused on friendships for over 50s that was set up by a dynamic mother and son duo. It’s easy-to-use and will put you in touch with Chirpy groups all across Australia for an annual fee.

Volunteer in your community

You’ll meet so many local people by helping out at organisations that need volunteers. Your suburb’s Council is the perfect place to start. They organise essential programs like Meals On Wheels, where you can help as part of a friendly team in the kitchen or be assigned a partner to drive and deliver the meals with.

Create an account on Meetup

Join a group, find an event or start a group of your own – it’s all free on this website that connects people from all over the world and helps you live your best social life. Explore your city with others, build on your skills, discuss art, or get creative. Dive in today and see the fun that’s waiting to be had, either in-person or online.

Enrol in an adult education class

Access to lifelong learning is available for everyone these days. Seek out a University of the Third Age (U3A) in your area – there are no prerequisites, no exams and no qualifications awarded. It’s purely for over 50s – take one of the hundreds of courses on offer with like-minded people and build upon your connection each week in a classroom, or as you explore the historical and cultural sights of your town.

Join a local activity group

Find your passion and then find an activity group built around it. It might be gardening, going to the movies or the theatre, taking long walks, indulging in long lunches, visiting museums and galleries or sitting around knitting. Neighbourhood Houses across Australia provide centres where seniors can gather safely, have something to look forward to, and feel connected with both their activities and the community.

by Sarah Halfpenny

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