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.

The Second Half Foundation Announces Partnership with Open Age

The Second Half Foundation (Reg. Charity 1141988), founded by Jill Shaw Ruddock, is very pleased to be partnering with Open Age (Reg. Charity 1039520) who will take over the running and management of The Second Half Centre at St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing as of April 1st 2014. The Second Half Foundation will be gifting existing equipment and resources to Open Age, as well as providing funding towards the running of the Second Half Centre for an agreed period. It is the hope that The Second Half Foundation will also partner with Open Age to roll out centres based on the Second Half Centre template, to promote active ageing and tackle social isolation throughout London, and then the rest of the country.

Helen Leech, Director of Open Age believes that the partnership will give the two charities a springboard to make a significant impact on the lives of older people, not just in London, but also throughout the UK.  “Jill has done an inspiring job establishing the Second Half Centre and working tirelessly to make it a success.  We are delighted to be taking it over next year and pleased to be partnering with The Second Half Foundation to roll out centres throughout the UK based on this Centre’s template and the work we have been doing for the past 20 years.”

Jill Shaw Ruddock will be spearheading the Foundation’s mission to tackle isolation through the creation of community hubs throughout London and the United Kingdom. “I am very pleased with how successful the Centre has become in such a relatively short amount of time.  Social isolation in our older population has a profound impact on the quality of mental and physical health and can be remedied with the creation of community hubs such as The Second Half Centre. Creating a proactive and preventative care model for our exploding older population is the future of successful ageing.  Open Age is the perfect partner to take over the management of The Centre and work with us through this next phase of our development.”

Open Age: Open Age ( Reg Charity 103952) has been pioneering an active life for older people for 20 years, preventing isolation and loneliness and improving well-being. User led the charity runs over 350 weekly activities across a wide range of community venues, which include its Westminster Hubs, Positive Age Centre in Kensington and the New Horizons Centre in Chelsea.  For those who are housebound there are facilitated activity groups over the phone.  Weekly trips and activities are provided for older unpaid carers to enable them to enjoy some time for themselves.  An employment programme helps those over 50 to find work. Key to all the provision is the Link Up team which provides support on a one to one basis to link older people into the opportunities available.

The Second Half Foundation
The Second Half Foundation was created by Jill Shaw Ruddock after the publication of her book about successful ageing, The Second Half of Your Life .  In February 2011, Jill set out to make her words  come to life.  In May 2011, The Second Half of Your Life Foundation was approved by the UK Charities Commission with the purpose of creating community hubs where her prescription for healthy ageing, her “five a day” as detailed in her book, would be put into practice. This became a reality when The Second Half Centre opened its doors to the community in October 2012.  Providing 60 hours of activities each week, from teaching  IT skills, life and job coaching to help those return to work or simply cope better in everyday life, brain and body fitness classes, cooking and nutrition classes, and a Life CafĂ© to give people a place to chat before and after classes to connect and make new friends. The Second Half Centre encourages all of its 1300 members to discover why the second half of life is the best half.

For more information please contact:

Jill Shaw Ruddock, The Second Half Foundation and Centre, 020 8962 5500
Helen Leech, Open Age, 020 8964 1900