Merton launches Celebrating Age Festival 2011

This year’s Celebrating Age Festival 2011 launched its festival programme today (Friday 3 June) at SavaCentre in Colliers Wood with the help of performers from a number of community groups for older people in Merton.

Dance enthusiasts from groups including Positive Network, South London Tamil Welfare, Merton OASIS African Caribbean Elders (ACES), West Indian Family and Friends Association (WIFFA), Merton and Morden Guild, London Southwest Chinese Community Association and Age Concern Merton’s belly dancing groups showed off their steps to world rhythms.

The festival launch got everyone in the mood ahead of a fun-filled two weeks in September (5-18 September). Residents over 50 will be able to enjoy more than 100 colourful events and interesting workshops presented across Merton.

The programme offers a little of everything, with the chance to try Salsa, Tai Chi, Pilates and even Ballet, join regular walking groups, enjoy a local playwright’s work or a bingo tea with a local scout group. There will also be the opportunity to learn about computer shopping and emailing, and have help with knitting and corsage making. Further afield, there are trips to Margate, Sandown Park, Chartwell, Canterbury and Portsmouth Cathedral, and much more.

Festival organiser, Sue Tickner said: “Our older residents offer so much to society. Their experience of life is important to pass on to our younger people. It’s also important to highlight the fact that getting older is something that should be enjoyed. It often means you have more time free to spend on enjoying extended family as well as finding new interests and developing fresh skills – something this festival is all about. We always have a lot of fun and want to encourage as many of our older residents as possible to join in the celebration.

“Thanks to the determination of Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Alambritis and Councillor Linda Kirby, we are able to bring you this programme and show that Celebrating Age is alive and well and happening again.”

Merton Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health Councillor Linda Kirby said: “The festival is the main event of the year when it comes to celebrating the talents and contributions of the over 50s in Merton. We’re now in our ninth year and it just gets better every time.”

Brochures are available at over 100 outlets all over Merton, including libraries, community centres, churches, Merton Civic Centre and Age Concern Merton. For information, call the Festival Line on 020 3328 0329/0330 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 26 July to 1 September, 9.30am- 3.30pm. Further information can also be found on the council’s website at http://www.merton.gov.uk/celebratingage.

Notes to editor:
Photos are available upon request.

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Press Contact:

Leoni Munslow

Communications Assistant

London Borough of Merton

020 8545 4654