Over 120 people from across the district joined in the fun at a special event designed to showcase activities on offer of particular interest to older residents. The event took place on Monday 1 October at the old Town Hall to celebrate national Older People’s Day.
St Albans City & District Council is keen to challenge the ‘I can’t do it because I am too old’ stereotype. Twenty three stalls run by local groups* offered everything from belly dancing classes to drama, painting, holistic therapy, leisure, health, learning and volunteering opportunities.
The University of the Third Age (U3A), which has almost 300,000 members across the country, was on hand to show how it’s done. They offer everything from German lessons to badminton and archaeology and have over 900 members in St Albans alone.
The Council is creating an Older People’s Forum where people of a certain age can have their say about decisions that affect their quality of life. Key issues raised at Monday’s event will shape the agenda for the first forum meeting on 6 December at Harpenden Park Hall beginning at 1.30pm. Transport issues - especially in rural areas, access to hospitals and hospital discharge, benefits and money advice and changes to housing benefits were amongst the issues raised.
The Council is also keen to recruit older people to its Community Panel, an online forum seeking people’s views on council policies and ideas. More information about this is available from Oliver Jones on 01727 819501, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing at the Council, said: “The Older People’s Forum will help focus the Council’s attention on the needs and views of older residents. This week’s event was an important prelude to this. It showcased the great number of high quality activities and events on offer in the district of particular interest to older people. It was also an opportunity to ask local people what issues they would like to see considered by the Older People’s Forum beginning in December.”
The Older People’s Forum on 6 December is open to all. For more information, please contact Nicky Flynn, Partnership Project Officer at St Albans City & District Council on 01727 819518.
Councillor contact: Councillor Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing at St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 01582 767621
Contact for the media: Claire Wainwright, Principal Communications and Marketing Officer, St Albans City and District Council, Tel: 01727 819572, E-mail: email@example.com
Notes for editors:
*Other organisations and groups who generously contributed to the day include:
· Hidden Talents art club,
· Fleetville Diaries,
· Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Services
· Oaklands College
· The St Albans Sports, Arts and Health team,
· The Good Neighbour Scheme
· St Albans Voice
· The Countryside Management Service
· The Footpaths Association,
· Computer Friendly
· Centre for Voluntary Service
· Buskin Drama
· Trestle Theatre Company
UK Older People’s Day 2012 took place on 1 October 2012. It is a national event aimed at helping people think differently about older people and at challenging stereotypes.
University of the 3rd Age – U3As are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work. They provide opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning for fun. More information at: http://u3asitec.org.uk/live/code/u3asite.php?site=105