In the third of a series of articles looking at the work of Age UK Redbridge, Barking & Havering, Janet West explains the importance of Older People’s Week and looks at what will be happening in Wanstead
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on 14 December 1990 declaring 1 October as an International Day of Older People. The day is to acknowledge and appreciate the enormous contributions and achievements that older people make to the functioning of society and the economy.
According to the United Nations, almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, two billion people, over 20% of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth.
Each year, the International Day of Older People has a different theme. Last year’s theme was ‘Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions’ and for 2019 the theme will be ‘The Journey to Age Equality’.
Age UK Redbridge, Barking & Havering have been working alongside Redbridge Council and other local organisations for many years, arranging events to celebrate Older People’s Day. In fact, in Redbridge, there is usually a whole week of celebration and this year is no exception!
There are events planned throughout the week, ranging from information sessions about keeping safe at home, to health and wellbeing, leisure and culture, and there will also be opportunities to try out new exercises in classes around the borough for free, and a celebratory lunch with the Mayor of Redbridge at the Allan Burgess Centre on 2 October.
In fact, Wanstead’s Allan Burgess Centre has an event each day during the week commencing 30 September. There will be a performance from Redbridge Music Lounge, the Redbridge Rhymesters will be having a poetry session with the children from Snaresbrook Primary School, a general knowledge quiz will take place and a comedy performance will keep everyone entertained, all in addition to the Mayor’s celebratory lunch.
Programmes are available from the centre and from local libraries, as well as from Age UK in Ilford. We hope to see lots of people enjoying events throughout the week. Do pop in to the Allan Burgess Centre and join us and enjoy one of the events as well as a home-cooked meal, which will include a free glass of wine on the day of the celebratory lunch.