History

The club started under the auspices of the British Red Cross in 1968 and initially met in the David Bogue Hall in Kings Road. The Club moved to what is now the Club Hampshire Hall two or three years later. The first Leader was a Mrs Margaret Cockcroft who ran the club every Friday for 25 years until a serious car accident made her give up the role. The Leadership was then taken over by Mrs Joan Mackey for two years but she in turn had to give it up due to her husband's ill health. The Club would have then folded if John Rogers (JR) had not stepped into the breach and he ran the club for 17 years only giving up the Chairman's role in June 2010 due to ill health and age (81) he is still on the committee as deputy Chairman. The Chairmanship was taken over by the very able Heather Francis who had been gradually assimilating the role since joining in 2005.

In 2003 the British Red Cross gave up all Clubs so whilst all the other clubs that use the same hall became part of a new charity called Club Hampshire, JR recommended that the Friday Club, which was always quite self contained, should become a charity in its own right. This was approved by all the members so JR wrote a Constitution which was approved by the Members, and the Charity Commission, under the name of The Gosport Young at Hearts Unity Club.

There are still two members of the original club. Mrs Joan Mackey (98) and Mrs Eileen Walsh (92), both of whom are still active Committee Members.

The Club meets every Friday afternoon at the Club Hampshire Hall from 1.45 to 3.45pm where members meet their friends for a good old chat, have a cup of tea and have a variety of excellent entertainment. Members with any form of disability are brought in by transport and in addition JR organises various trips during the year the most popular of which is the annual Mystery Trip.

About 2006, two Sequence Dance Clubs who were facing the prospect of having to close due to a high insurance cost, became affiliated to the Young at Hearts Unity Club after JR obtained the approval of the Club Members, our own insurers and the Charity Commissioners. Both these clubs have been in existence for over 25 years, are very ably run by Pat and Brian Barnett (023 9255 1693) and meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Club Hampshire hall, from 7.30 to 9.30pm.

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