“You always go out smiling, we do have good fun,” said Martha Balfour about ‘Trendsetters,' a cross-community, charity-run club that offers any person aged 55 and over the opportunity to engage and socialise in their local community, whilst also improving their skills, both physically and mentally.

Martha, who is the Chairperson of the 15-member strong Trendsetters committee, said: "We meet every Wednesday. At 1pm we have a lunch club that runs from 1pm to 2pm. From 2pm to 4pm we have speakers in, we play boccia, new age kurling and we do gentle exercises - but not all on the one day!"

The club runs a range of activity programmes, health programmes and information sessions which offer members the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and learn new skills. Some of the activities offered include mobile phone training, craft classes, health quizzes and chair-based exercises. Every year the Trendsetters members donate money to create 60 shoeboxes for the charity Operation Christmas Child. Some of the members use their knitting skills to create hats and scarves to be included in the shoeboxes.

"There is always something going on, all sorts of fun things. It keeps your mind active," said Trendsetters committee member Marj Aitken.

Established as a small social group in 1994, Trendsetters continues to go from strength to strength. Martha commented: “Next year is our 25th year, so we are hoping to have celebrations then.” She added: "Two or three of our original members are still around thankfully. Our eldest member is 97 and our youngest member is 58."

Currently the club has between 40 and 60 members, with the majority coming from the areas of Ballinamallard, Lisnarick and Irvinestown.

Trendsetters members can sign up to the Fermanagh Community Network bus that will collect them from their home and take them to the club, which Martha says is a “fantastic” service.

Having been a member of the club for 19 years, Martha explained why she first joined: “My husband took a heart attack and I quit work and I thought, I can’t be at home all day every day. So I went around to the Methodist Hall where it was taking place then. It was a two-day thing back then, it was dinner on a Monday and the club on a Wednesday. I didn’t go on a Monday for my husband was here and I started going on a Wednesday which was great. It was something to look forward to.”

“I try to encourage people to come for a day and see if they like it. It’s through word of mouth and encouragement that people come but normally when they do come they stay,” added Martha.

On a final note, commenting on how Trendsetters brings people together to engage and discuss what’s happening locally, Martha said: “When you’re in a club you find out a lot of things. You’re not sitting at home watching the telly with the world news on, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do, I do it myself, but if you’re local you get to hear what’s happening locally when you come to the club.”