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.

About The Second Half Centre

Click the logo to visit The Second Half Centre website. 

The Second Half Centre, located in the NHS St Charles Centre Hospital on Exmoor Street W10, one of the most deprived wards in the Royal Borough and all of England.  The SHC opened its doors to the over 50s community on October 29th 2012. The Second Half Centre is open Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5.00 pm. Currently there are over 1470 members.

In its beautiful 3400 square foot state-of-the-art multi-purpose centre, over 60 hours of classes are taught each week, all taught by accredited teachers: Exercise from Ballet Tone,  Salsa, Jazz, Meditation Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and Stretch and Tone; Fine Art from Acrylic painting, Life Drawing to Pastels; Crafts, Drama (including West End visits to The National, The Donmar Warehouse, and The Noel Coward), Bus Pass to Broadway (singing and dancing to your favourite Broadway shows), Practical Gardening and Garden Design, IT skills from basic Emailing to Excel  to Social Media  is taught by Kensington and Chelsea College in our dedicated IT room with 12 computers; Retooling for Life and Work, The Art of Revolution and Discovering World Religions (including museum visits to The National Gallery, The V&A, The British Museum and the Courtauld), History of Literature, Poetry, Creative Writing, a variety of Cooking Classes from Italian, Thai, Greek, Persian, Estonian, Vegetarian,  ESOL, Beginners French and Spanish, and many other classes and workshops  ranging from therapist led “ Time To Talk “ to “How To Communicate with Your Adult Children Without Pissing them Off".

Pricing is set to encourage people from less fortunate backgrounds to take classes (there is a heavily discounted price for Bursary members to ensure those who show need are able to attend as many classes as they want to). Classes for Members cost £5 for a one hour class, £6 for 2 hours, with Bursary members paying just £2 and £3.

The Second Half Centre is a place where both men and women over the age of 50 come together and do things they enjoy in a dedicated space: from bridging the digital divide, learning new skills to get back to work, rediscovering the pleasures of old hobbies and finding new ones, exercising, and feeling involved through volunteering, mentoring and teaching.  People from all socio economic groups, all races and religions from any borough are welcomed. The Second Half Centre believes isolation effects everyone equally as we age.

On the premises is The Life Cafe  which is open five days a week,  where members now run the Café on a volunteer basis. Members can pop in before and after classes for a delicious cup of cappuccino or tea and eat our breads, cinnamon twirls, yogurt parfaits and scones.     
Membership is FREE.