Merton kick starts Celebrating Age Festival 2009

Merton’s Celebrating Age Festival 2009 will be kicking off to a spectacular start when it launches on Friday 28 August in Colliers Wood.

Older members from a range of community groups in Merton will be leading the event from 11am at the Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer Supermarket Centre (Savacentre) entertaining visitors with a lively song and dance extravaganza.

Performers on the day include London South West Chinese CA, Positive Networks, African Caribbean Elders (ACES) and West Indian Friends and Family Association (WIFFA), the Goan Elderly, Merton and Morden Guild, and Age Concern Merton’s belly dancing groups.

The month-long festival comprises over 160 colourful events and interesting workshops for the over 50s.

Key dates include the Festival’s Independence Day on 9 September at South Wimbledon Community Centre. Aimed at developing skills for independent living, you can book a driving appraisal with Drive4Life, attend workshops on various aspects of safe living, and talk to agencies offering services to help with independent living.

Another highlight from the festival programme will be the Older People’s Wellbeing Network Open Meeting at Merton Civic Centre on 2 September. Jon Denoris, personal trainer to singers Estelle, Natasha Bedingfield and Rachel Stevens (former S Club Seven member and Strictly Come Dancing star), will speak about his work in the area of wellbeing and health and host a special seated exercise session for visitors.

Festival organiser, Sue Tickner says: “Holding the launch in a shopping centre enables us to promote the Festival to the public at large – it is a rare opportunity to see older people performing and having fun!”

Merton Council’s cabinet member for adult care services and health Councillor Maurice Groves says: “The festival is our biggest annual event to celebrate the wonderful contribution made to Merton by the over 50s and every year it gets bigger and better.

“The launch event is a fantastic way for people to be involved in the festival and give the public a taste of all the wonderful and exciting events they can expect to see taking place in the borough during next month.”

Brochures are running low now, so if you want to find out more, pop into your local library or the Civic Centre in Morden, or call the Festival Line from Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 3.30pm on 020 8545 4712. Further information can also be found on the council’s website at http://www.merton.gov.uk/celebratingage

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Notes:

The Celebrating Age Festival runs from Tuesday 1 to Friday 27 September and is open to all Merton residents over the age of fifty

The Celebrating Age Festival is funded by Merton Council and coordinated by Age Concern Merton. The Festival Line is coordinated by Care Connect

The festival, now in its sixth year, offers 150 events and involves more than 80 voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations

There are 40,000 older people in Merton and last year more than 5,000 took part in the Celebrating Age Festival’s activities

Merton libraries are hosting more than 35 different events for older people as part of the Celebrating Age Festival 2009