The second half of you life foundation

Founder of The Second Half Centre and Second Half Clubs


In February 2011, The Second Half of Your Life, a groundbreaking book that inspires women to rethink what it means to grow older was published by Penguin/Random House. Using the hormonal changes that occur around menopause as a springboard to transition from a woman's reproductive years to her self-productive years, it launched Jill into a journey to create The Second Half Foundation. All sales from this book go to fund The Second Half Foundation.

The Second Half Foundation (Reg. 1141988) was created in May 2011 with the mission of tackling loneliness and isolation for any person over the age of 50 years old. We wish to serve anyone affected by isolation from any background. We want to ensure that our growing population will have a place to develop more meaningful connections and continue to learn and grow.

In October 2012, The Second Half Centre opened its doors to the community in the NHS St Charles for Health and Wellbeing in North Kensington, London. The Second Half Centre has over 4000 members, 500 attendees each week and provides 90 hours of classes and workshops weekly and is run by Open Age.

On October 2nd 2016, The Second Half Centre, Diocese of London, Diocese of Middlesex, Open Age, Barclays Digital Eagles, City Harvest and Pret a Manger have piloted a new programme in London that goes to the heart of tackling the devastating effects of isolation in our older population. The Church of England are taking a lead role helping to create new church communities where churches become hubs of the community on days not of worship and promote active ageing.

Second Half Clubs launched in two local Churches in Westminster in November 2016: St Stephens on Rochester Row, SW1P 1LE and St Paul's on 5 Rossmore Road, NW1 6NJ where people can come together as a group to enjoy group activities and give purpose to enrich their lives of their community. Rediscovering the pleasures of old hobbies and finding new ones, excercising, feeling involved through volunteering, mentoring and teaching, making new friends, learning how to use iPads, staying connected to family friends and their community as well as learning new skills will be the mission of Second Half Clubs. Two more have launched in Janaury 2019: St Andrews Church on Greyhound Road and St Mary's The Bolton in Kensington. Our fifth church All Saints Fulham will be launching after Easter 2019.

The Second Half Foundation was created and founded by Lady Jill Shaw Ruddock CBE.

Please click on this link to see The Church of England’s post on Second Half Clubs and the wonderful work being done with our partners The Diocese of London, Open Age, Barclays Bank: Digital Eagles and The Second Half Foundation to help make churches hubs of the community on days not of worship.

Second Half Art Exhibition 2024 Catalogue


The Opening Night Party of the 2024 Second Half Exhibition

In October 2012, Jill Shaw Ruddock opened the doors to the Second Half Centre offering older adults a chance to engage in a range of interesting and fun activities, classes and discussions at the NHS hospital of St Charles Hospital in North Kensington. The mission of the Second Half Centre is to provide older adults the important opportunity to socialise, as isolation is one of the most critical issues for older adults - particularly those living on their own. The Centre has gone from strength to strength and now has over 6,000 members and offers 90 hours of activities each week.  (The average age of members is 78!)

To support the valuable work of the Second Half Centre, we annually host the Second Half Art Exhibition, which celebrates the creative and brilliant artwork of Living Older Masters. This year's exhibition will open on Thursday, 21st March from 6.30pm at The Second Half Centre at St Charles, Exmoor Street, London W10 6DZ. On the following morning, Friday, 22nd March at 10.00am, Natalie Melton, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, will be speaking on 'Craft and Why It Matters?'.  You are cordially invited to both events.


Autumn 2023 Activity Schedule for The Second Half Centre


The Second Half Centre Continues to go from Strength to Strength

The Second Half Centre continues to go from strength to strength.  These are our most recent attendance statistics 1st April - 15th November 2022. 

March 21st 2024 Second Half Art Exhibition SAVE THE DATE!


The Second Half Foundation will be hosting  our 12th Annual Second Half Art Exhibition: Celebrating Living Older Masters on Thursday March 21st 2024.  


The Opening of the Tenth Annual 2023 Second Half Art Exhibition


The 2023 was our BEST YEAR EVER!! We sold over £105,000 pounds worth of art- ½ going to the artist and the other ½ going to help the work of The Second Half Centre at St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing. Thank you to our ten incredibly talented exhibiting artists. As you know, all of these second half artists are role models for anyone in the second half of their lives – proving creativity continues to grow with age – there is no sell by date for creativity -- and we must never stop growing and learning and taking on new challenges.

A special thank you for the donation of our Silent Auction item created by the talented Michael Craig Martin- himself a poster child for ageing- he is 81- continues to work, put on exhibitions, create and inspire younger and older artists. He is represented by both Gargosian and the gallery Cristea Roberts.

As you know some older people still have difficulties adjusting to a post-COVID world after two years of isolation. We clearly saw this when The Second Half Centre reopened in September 2021 and we know that this is the most important work we can do- integrating our members back into The Second Half Centre and the work that is done here. Getting together doing things we enjoy in a dedicated space, making new friends, bridging the digital divide, learning new skills, rediscovering old hobbies and finding new ones, exercising and feeling involved through volunteering mentoring and teaching. 

 Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum since 2017, opened the 2023 Second Half Art Exhibition on March 9th 2023 at The Second Half Centre in St Charles Hospital in North Kensington. It was  truly is an honour to have him to officially open the show on the 10th anniversary of The Second Half Art Exhibition. 

Dr. Tristram Hunt officially opening 2023 Second Half Exhibition

Lady Jill Shaw Ruddock CBE, Founder and Chairman.

Preston Fitzgerald, Co-Curator, Iain Cassidy, Director of Open Age and Jill Shaw Ruddock. 

Standing room only breakfast to hear James Robinson of the V&A on the morning of March 10th at The Second Half Centre. 

James Robinson, Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass. 

Front row: Preston Fitzgerald, Jill Shaw Ruddock, Diane Herlinger
Back Row: James Robinson, Alexander Korzer Robinson, Sarah Pulvertaft, Ane Christensen, Carolyn Tripp, Allistair Malcolm, Sally Burnett, Anna Silverton, Andrea Hamilton & Daniel Reynolds. 

The Opening of the Ninth Annual 2021 Second Half Art Exhibition

The Opening of the Ninth Annual 2021 Second Half Art Exhibition: Celebrating Living Older Masters took place on the evening of Tuesday October 26th and carried through until midday on the 27th. 

We had 10 amazingly talented Second Half artists (please look at the catalogue.) This is an inspirational story about continued transformation and growth and proves there is no 'sell by' date when it comes to creativity.

James Robinson, the Victoria and Albert's Keeper of Ceramics, Sculpture and Metalwork officially opened the exhibition. Over 150 people attended. 

The following morning we hosted an extremely well attended breakfast where Rosy Greenlees, Director of the Crafts Council spoke on why the UK is so unique in the world of Crafts. 

Half the proceeds went to the artists directly and the other half to fund the work of The Second Half Centre. 

Iain Cassidy, Director of Open Age, James Robinson, Victoria and Albert Museum and Lady Jill Shaw Ruddock, CBE & Founder of The Second Half Centre and Foundation.

Diane Herlinger, Vice Chairman of The Second Half Foundation, Karen Lynn, Artist & Lady Jill Shaw Ruddock, Chairman and Founder.