The Elderberries Programme

Helping Northumberland to address loneliness
and be a great place to grow older


This community programme is co-ordinated by The Alnwick Garden Trust with the aim of combatting the impact of loneliness and isolation for people over 55 living in Northumberland. The Programme works to provide an enrichment to daily life, and works to connect people, enhance people’s wellbeing, and encourage people to try something new with the aim of making Northumberland a great place to grow old, be active, take positive steps to mental wellness, keep learning, and stay connected.

To keep updated with new sessions and events or changes to the currents ones, please like our Elderberries facebook page @AlnwickGardenElderberries or contact Elderberries to pass on details to be added to our database.

Although there are no costs for most of our sessions, donations are welcome to help ensure the continuation of the Elderberries programme.

Health & Self

A range of activities which include weekly exercise-based sessions as well as a social walking group, foot therapy, and large social events. We will be offering various sessions linked with improving your Health and Wellbeing later in the year.



Pilates is a mindfulness class which brings awareness to posture, mobility and core strength. The beauty about Pilates is there are many exercise options and adaptations for all levels and abilities.  Pilates aims to improve strength, flexibility and overall well-being, enabling you to leave the class feeling positive and refreshed. 

Monday 9.15-10.15am and 10.30-11.30am in the Pavilion Room, £4 per session.

Experience a flowing mindful Pilates class suitable for all ages and abilities. Using a range of different Pilates equipment such as Trigger Point balls, resistance bands and Pilates balls to add variety to each class. 

Wednesday 9.15-10.15am in the Pavilion Room, £4 per session.

Please bring your own mat, drink and wear comfortable clothing.


Experience slower yoga styles of Hatha and Yin as well as yoga Nidra (yogic ‘sleep’), chair yoga, mindfulness and relaxation.  All abilities welcome.

Wednesday 10.30-11.30am in the Pavilion Room, £4 per session.

Please bring your own mat, drink and wear comfortable clothing.



The session includes toenail clipping, rough skin removal and hot foot massage provided by Marjorie Turner

Monday 10:00 – 12:30pm in the Elderberries Room, £12 for half an hour.

Walking Group

Come and join a friendly, welcoming group to go for a walk, have a chat and meet new friends, as well as enjoy the surroundings.  This session is suitable for mixed walking abilities and runs regardless of the weather, so please dress appropriately. 

Friday 10am – 12noon, no booking required, meet outside the Elderberries room.


Drop In

The drop in centre was opened to combat loneliness amongst the over 55’s living in Northumberland.  It is located in the Stuart Halbert Room at The Alnwick Garden and is open every Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 11am-4pm for you to drop in and meet other people to play cards, listen to music or join in with dominoes, jigsaws and more.  You do not need to be a member of the Garden or pay to get into The Garden. This is free and includes tea/coffee/juice and tasty scones and cake.

And the chance to meet your new best friends

Please come and join us. 

Find Out More

Gentlemen’s Garden

A weekly session that encourages gentlemen to socialise, share traditional skills, and learn new ones, while working on their own allotment plots under the guidance of George Swordy, Deputy Head Gardener. 

During the winter months the Gents come indoors to participate in woodcrafts, quizzes, and winter projects.   This session runs every Thursday 10am – 12noon, plots are allotted to pre-assessed gents, if interested please contact The Elderberries Team.  £3 per session.


Blooming Well

The Blooming Well Project is a community-based initiative run by The Alnwick Garden Trust. Its aim is to improve the quality of life for people with early stages of dementia or memory issues, as well as provide support for their carers. A mixture of craft sessions, informative talks, hand-eye co-ordination games, and music are delivered with the aim of reducing isolation, improving wellbeing and promoting positive mental health. Outdoor sessions take place wherever possible during spring and summer.  This is held on a Monday and Wednesday 1.30-3.30pm, if interested please contact the Elderberries Team.

Tea ‘n’ Tech

Do you need help using your phone, sending emails, taking/finding photos with your mobile device?  If so, come along to a friendly volunteer led session on basic IT technology skills, call in for a cuppa, relax, learn and gain knowledge about using different IT gadgets, bring your phone, Ipad or other device, we will also have Ipads in the room.

Wednesday 10am – 12noon in the Elderberries Room.


To find out more send us an email.





“A very big thank you to everyone on the team for making such a wonderful change to my life.”     Liz Holmes

“Thanks to Elderberries I have friendship, companionship and fun in my life again and I am so very grateful to Tracy and all the volunteers who make it happen. Elderberries has proved to be a life changing experience for me.”     Jackie Simpson