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Louis Baylis cash to go towards SMILE Christmas party

A charity that helps elderly people exercise and socialise will hold its 15th annual Christmas party thanks to a donation from the Advertiser’s owner.

Windsor and Maidenhead SMILE Club received a £500 grant from the Louis Baylis Trust. The charity runs 45 exercise classes across the Royal Borough, which are mainly targeted at elderly people, providing seated and more robust exercise at its sessions.

The classes provide elderly people, many of whom are isolated and lonely, with an opportunity to make friends and keep fit.

Since it was founded 15 years ago, SMILE has held a Christmas party for over 50s every year.

The event usually sees about 150 guests, and schools often perform a nativity play for them.

This year some of the Louis Baylis grant money will go towards ensuring the 15th party will be a success.

Sarah Hill, of SMILE, said: “I would say we have a massive impact on these people’s lives.

“Some of them are on their own, it’s bringing people out from their home and into a community area, making new friends.

“We probably would not be able to run the event without grants and donations, it’s a charged-for event but as a charity, we make a loss out of it, we don’t cover the costs.”

As well as the Christmas party, some of the grant money is also set to go towards a major project that SMILE is working on.

The new initiative will see people run, jog or walk to elderly people’s homes, helping them out with chores or collecting their prescription.

The aim of the project is to encourage people to get active while they help the more lonely and isolated people in the community.

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