Last month, TDC pulled out all the stops to entertain 100+ elderly residents from East Brighton at a special tea-party. Days later we facilitated a fantastic trip to British Airways i360 for a group of 30 BME older people. It was all in recognition of the achievements and contributions older people make to life in Brighton and Hove.
Brighton & Hove ran the exciting two-week festival from Monday 26 September to Friday 7 October. It was specially designed for people aged 50+ and aimed to get hundreds of people actively involved and enjoying themselves. It also hoped to tackle negative stereotypes around ageing, and raise awareness of the benefits of maintaining good health and resilience in older age.
TDC worked with Impact Initiatives, using funds provided by Public Health at Brighton & Hove City Council, to create events that would reach out to older people across the city. Although the events were open to everyone, the focus was on drawing older people from wards that have high levels of poverty and whose older residents are known to suffer from isolation.
“Activities like this play a huge part in older people’s lives. Some of the residents we work with can often go days without any social interaction and so by running an accessible event, we give older people a chance to come together, share memories and make new friends. The impact is even greater when you couple it with growing evidence that shows the huge impact social isolation plays on people’s health. There is a 10 year difference in life expectancy in some of the wards we work when compared to the more affluent parts of Brighton & Hove – TDC are trying to change that.” said Lyndsay Macadam, Project Manager TDC.
The TDC tea-party was a fabulous afternoon of singing, dancing, sharing of memories and tasty food.
“We had competitions for line-dancing, singing and best-dressed, as well as best flower arrangement and a bake-off. We wanted to make it as fun and inclusive as possible to encourage more people to get involved” said Helen Jones, Community Development Worker Moulsecoombe, TDC
TDC worked hard to find local businesses to support the event, with Tesco providing the ingredients for a high tea; Hire All providing crockery; Impact Initiative and The Bevy providing transport; The Bridge Community Centre providing cakes and Gladrags providing a chair for portrait photographs. Southern Water, Albion in the Community, BHESCO and the Green Party also donated items for goodie bag prizes.
“Tesco were happy to make the donation and work with the community to bring about positive change in our local area” said Pilly, Tesco Community Champion.
TDC community development workers made sure individual residents and groups in each of the neighbourhoods we work were invited. Approximately 100 people turned up, with representatives from groups including Friday Friends, Mad Hatters, Getting On 50+, The Orchards, Broadfields, Gentle Dance group at Moulsecoomb Hall, Hampshire Court, Partridge House, Salvation Army and Singing for Better Health, Sloane Court, Somerset Point, New Larchwood, Old Boat Corner, Queens Park and Craven Vale residents.
For our BME group, the chance to visit Brighton’s biggest new attraction for a cream tea and a flight was a dream come true.
British Airways i360, our partner, kindly helped facilitate the trip with funds donated from Impetus.
TDC’s Chief Executive, accompanied the group and said they were ‘delighted’ by the whole experience.