SOCIAL AND CHALLENGING: Henri and Wendy put their minds together to work on solving a puzzle.
SOCIAL AND CHALLENGING: Henri and Wendy put their minds together to work on solving a puzzle. Meredith Yardley

This club's goal is nothing puzzling

PUTTING together the pieces of a new life has led a group of Alstonville residents to become part of a puzzling new club.

The Jigsaw Club, which meets each Tuesday at 1pm in Alstonville Uniting Church meeting room, is a way to exercise your brain, develop new social networks and just have a bit of fun, according to group organiser Meredith Yardley.

Over coffee and cake or tea and biscuits, Meredith said the group shared the challenge and a lot of chat.

"Every week three jigsaws are laid out to be worked on," she said.

"Any not finished at the end of the day are carefully rolled up on pieces of felt, to be continued in a week's time.

"When a puzzle is completed, the people who have been working on it select a new one from the stock always kept on hand."

The club is part of Meredith's ongoing HappinessWorx program - her overarching business, which also encompasses Intentional Laughter, Hypnotherapy, and the Science of Happiness.

She's studied the latter through UCLA (Berkeley) to add to her training in the other two disciplines.

Meredith is a certified Laughter Yoga leader through both the International Laughter Yoga University in India and Laughter Yoga Australia.

"Loneliness is one of the worst feelings a person can have," Meredith said.

"A club like this enables and encourages people to get out and mix for a few hours each week - to meet others and chat over a shared pleasure.

"The social aspect of the group is every bit as important as the mental exercise of the puzzles themselves.

"There is a lot of good medical evidence to show that people who keep their minds active live happier for longer."

Meredith and husband Henri share a love of doing jigsaws together, and the club's initial "stock" came from their personal collection.

Since then more puzzles have been bought, or have been donated.

Some members of the group have brought along jigsaws of their own to share, or to get help on solving a particularly stubborn puzzle.

A small entry fee of $5 covers tea, coffee and snacks as well as other costs.

For more information, contact Meredith Yardley on 0434 076183, email Meredith@meredith yardley.com or phone Henri Rennie on 0419 840406.


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