In the fourth of a series of articles looking at the work of Age UK Redbridge, Barking & Havering, Janet West looks back at a week of activities that marked Older People’s Day
From 30 September to 6 October, Redbridge celebrated Older People’s Day by putting on activities throughout the week. Older people had the opportunity to pick up lots of information on a whole variety of topics. There was a safety themed day at Central Library in Ilford with presentations from the Fire Service, the Bogus Caller Partnership, Trading Standards, Safer Transport and the Old Protectors. Throughout the week, Redbridge Vision offered free places on several of their exercise classes from rowing to Nordic walking.
Central Library also hosted Silver Tuesday, with laughing yoga, a talk by Jeff Page about leisure history and a very enjoyable interactive songs and stories session by local resident Jane Grell.
Meanwhile, Wanstead’s Allan Burgess Centre was also busy with events. Redbridge Music Lounge popped in for a singalong session with service users on Monday and another fabulous poets’ corner took place on Tuesday, led by Alexandra Wilde of the Redbridge Rhymesters and accompanied by children from Snaresbrook Primary School. Alexandra holds these sessions on a regular basis at the centre.
On Wednesday, the centre held a celebratory lunch attended by the mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Zulfigar Hussain. The mayor got to see what the centre has to offer for older people, with its freshly cooked lunches and many activities on offer throughout the week. More importantly, it offers the opportunity to socialise, make friends and have a good chat over a cuppa, with many of the service users stating this is the biggest benefit to them as it helps to reduce loneliness and isolation.
On Thursday, while the Allan Burgess Centre held a quiz for its visitors, Age UK Redbridge, Barking & Havering organised a health and wellbeing event at Wanstead Library. There was an array of organisations taking part, offering free reflexology and health checks. Advice was on hand for anyone who needed it following their check-up. There was also reiki and pranic healing; an art table staffed by a student from the Relax and Create class run by Brenda Coyle; chair yoga and chair exercise sessions; hydration and nutrition information from London Borough of Redbridge Community Lunch service and even a free tombola.
Here at Age UK, we celebrate our local older people every day, but we look forward to another week of special activities in 2020.