With less than three weeks to go until Merton’s annual Celebrating Age Festival, the borough’s older residents are being urged to dust off their festival programmes, pick up the phone and get booking.
The festival, coordinated by Age Concern Merton and funded by Merton Council, runs from Monday 1 September to Friday 26 September and offers all Merton residents over the age of fifty the opportunity to learn something new and meet new people.
With 150 different events ranging from health, gardening and computer workshops through to dancing, dinners and organised outings to places such as Winchester, Kew Gardens, Portsmouth and Greenwich, this year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Over the last month, Celebrating Age’s own volunteers, the Festival Friends, have been working with the council’s CareConnect service to start up and man a dedicated Festival Line to coordinate bookings and enquiries in the build up to the big event.
Celebrating Age Festival coordinator, Sue Tickner from Age Concern Merton, says volunteers are really showing their support for the festival this year by taking ownership and getting involved behind the scenes.
“The volunteers are real Festival enthusiasts. They really enjoy being able to give back to their community by helping out and encouraging more over-fifties to make the most of the Festival. It has been exciting to help the team, some of whom are over 80, to absorb all the information required to man the Festival Line,” she says.
“The Festival Friends’ involvement ties into a key theme of the Festival, which is to empower older people and show the contribution they can make to their environment.”
Councillor Linda Scott, Cabinet Member for Housing, Adult Care and Health says: “The Celebrating Age Festival is our biggest annual event in celebration of Merton’s older community and it continues to grow year after year.
We’re thrilled to be working with Age Concern Merton to deliver a festival that puts the needs of our older residents first and gives them a passport to try out a new activity or two, meet new friends and, most importantly, have fun.”
To find out more about the festival, order a programme or make a booking, residents can call the Festival Line from Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm on 020 8545 4712.