WORCESTER residents are being encouraged to come along to a series of special Friendship Month events organised by their local Oddfellows.

The friendly society, which covers Worcester and Stourport on Severn and regularly meets for social and fundraising activities, came together at the end of August for the first time in more than 18 months after the pandemic put a stop to social gatherings.

Now they want to extend a warm welcome to newcomers by offering a range of free taster events designed to put guests at ease.

September’s packed social calendar began this week with a ‘welcome back’ evening and quiz in Stourport-on-Severn, and next up is an afternoon tea with the hugely popular Worcester Ukulele Band in Worcester on Monday. September 13.


Valerie Hales, Joyce Leah

Valerie Hales, Joyce Leah


Oddfellows branch secretary Sandra Loynes, said: “It was wonderful to get back together again after such a long time apart.

“There was lots of laughing and merriment – just how we like it! It’s been the perfect start to Friendship Month – the time of the year where we encourage more people to come along and give us a try.

“I’d really love for more people to come and see what the Oddfellows is all about. There’s no better time than Friendship Month, when we have plenty of events for everyone to try out. The Worcester Ukulele band is always a huge hit so we’re really looking forward to that.


Julia Tolley and Gladys Callow

Julia Tolley and Gladys Callow


“We’re always ready and waiting to welcome new faces, but we make a special effort in September with branches all over the UK taking part.”

Guests are also invited to a ten-pin bowling event on the morning of Tuesday, September 14, in Worcester, and a day trip on the Broadway Steam train to Cheltenham and Gloucester on Tuesday, September 21.


Sandra Loynes, Sadie Patridge

Sandra Loynes, Sadie Patridge


On Monday, September 27, the Oddfellows will also host an afternoon bingo session at the Lyppard Hub in Warndon Villages.

According to a survey carried out on behalf of the Oddfellows, more than half of people aged over 60 said the pandemic has made them value friendships more than ever.

The survey also revealed how having a drink with friends was the most missed social activity for those aged 60 and above, with almost a half (44 per cent) saying they find it harder to make new friends now compared to when they were younger.

“Making friends later in life and enjoying a brew in great company is something our group can definitely help people with,” added Sandra.


David Lancaster Susan Day

David Lancaster Susan Day


The Worcester Oddfellows branch is a non-profit society with around 300 members.

In addition to attending regular social events, members can access financial benefits and welfare support, with a dedicated care helpline and citizens advice team, and a travel club.

To register an interest in attending a Friendship Month taster event or to receive a free local events pack, contact Sandra Loynes on 01905 422591 or email sandra.loynes@oddfellows.co.uk.

Further event and open day details can be found at friendshipmonth.com, as well as a competition to win one of six tapas hampers.

September event details

Monday, September 13, from 2pm

Afternoon of live entertainment provided by the Worcester Ukulele Band followed by afternoon tea.

This will be held at St Mark’s Church Hall, Orchard Street, Worcester, WR5 3DW. Booking is essential.

Tuesday, September 14,10am start

Tenpin Bowling at Bowl Extreme, Perdiswell Park, Droitwich Road, Worcester, WR3 7SN. Price £3.80 for two games, a hot drink and biscuits. No experience necessary – play for fun!

Tuesday, September 21

Annual day trip. For further details on this please contact Jeff on 01905 422591.

Monday, September 27, noon start

Bingo at the Lyppard Hub, Ankerage Green, Warndon Villages, Worcester.