Aging strikes: Gestel senior consultation pulls the plug after 17 years | Eindhoven

EINDHOVEN – The Gestel Senior Consultation has stopped its activities for the elderly in the nine Gestel neighborhoods. The causes are aging within the club and declining membership numbers. ‘We have achieved a lot in those seventeen years. I’m proud of that.’

According to foundation chairman Yvonne van ‘t Sand and secretary Jo de Haas, the stretch was over. Started with seventeen members, the SOG foundation eventually only had eight people. Their ages ranged from 72 to 84 and there was no recruitment of new members, despite all the efforts of the board.

“People are still willing to commit to things that play in their own street, such as loose paving stones or a defective lamppost, but when it comes to things a bit further from home, they are much more difficult to mobilize,” says De Hare.

Thank you for the quick finish

The remaining subsidy funds -several thousand euros- have been refunded to the account of the municipality. “Thanks for the quick finish is all we heard from her.” It was sometimes difficult to work with her, says De Haas. ,,If we wanted to organize something, we often got zero on the bill.”

The secretary cites a sports and health afternoon for the elderly in the Genderbeemd sports hall just before the corona crisis as an example. The rental of the hall and the props was subsidized, but posters with which SOG had wanted to promote the day had to be paid out of pocket. And that money was not there. De Haas: “Almost no one came that afternoon.”

A lot accomplished in the past seventeen years

According to Yvonne van ‘t Sand, who has been active as a volunteer for decades, a lot has nevertheless been achieved in the past seventeen years. “And I’m happy and proud of that.” The chairman mentions the ATM on Franz Léharplein as an example, which has been preserved because the seniors’ meeting with Rabobank started talks.

She also mentions the activities in the – just threatened with closure – neighborhood center ‘t Slot and the pampering day for fifty informal carers in the Parktheater, when the club celebrated its tenth anniversary. “We used money for the party for that.”

Furthermore, the board members also want to mention the ‘social guide’: a handy booklet with important telephone numbers and addresses of care and welfare organisations, district nurses, general practitioners, pharmacies and the like. The social guide was delivered to 4600 seniors in Gestel. De Haas: “Keeping the administration of that guidebook was not easy.”


You can want to do everything, but the club of people is getting smaller and smaller

Jo de Haas, secretary Gestel Seniors Consultation

The senior citizens’ consultation has also committed itself to preserving bus route 15 -a losing battle- and was represented in various sounding board groups. SOG has also campaigned for a better layout of the roundabout on Beemdstraat, which is difficult to cross, especially for the elderly and wheelchair users.

,,You can want to do all kinds of things, but the club of people is getting smaller and smaller,” says De Haas. ,,We asked ourselves the question: is it still responsible to continue doing this? Well, no.”

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