This year’s Celebrating Age Festival came to a close on Sunday 18 September with a Ballroom dancing evening in Colliers Wood, as part of the annual celebrations for the over 50s.
With over 130 events over two weeks, the festival offers older people in Merton the chance to take part in a huge variety of events including tap dancing, tai chi, local history talks and international food festivals. Hundreds of residents took part in computer classes, learnt poetry and even went on trips to Chartwell, Canterbury and Portsmouth Cathedral.
Intergenerational activity has increased this year with successful events engaging both older and younger people. Gin and Dry, a short film about people in a care home featuring Merton residents as extras was screened at the Colour House Theatre. Children from St Mark’s Primary School joined some of the older people to discuss the issues raised in the film including kindness and consideration, and the importance of spending time with your family.
Cadets from Wimbledon College ACF and a team of volunteers from local Barclays branches assisted with the day trips during the fortnight, pushing wheelchairs, lending a helping hand, sharing stories and generally having a great time.
Festival organiser, Sue Tickner said: “Celebrating Age is the biggest event for the over 50s in Merton. We work hard every year to show people the fun part of getting older, and help people to find hobbies and groups where they can enjoy the extra free time they have.
“This year is was a shorter programme but we had a fantastic time thanks to all the community groups, volunteers and residents who got involved. It’s great to see that after so long we can still find new ways to celebrate age and next year is our tenth anniversary so we are already looking to make this the biggest and best yet.”
Merton Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health Councillor Linda Kirby said: “The festival gives us a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and community efforts that our over 50s offer. We have a growing population of older people in Merton who contribute a great deal to our society and it’s good that the festival can highlight this.”
Further information is available from http://www.merton.gov.uk/celebratingage.
Notes to editors:
Photos are available on request
London Borough of Merton
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