Over-50s event to focus on making connections and staying positive in later life

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An event celebrating the lives of people over 50 is to be held in Birmingham as part of the work of Ageing Better in Birmingham.

‘Spring Forward’ has been organised by Groundwork West Midlands in partnership with Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC), and will take place from 10am on Friday, March 29, at Austin Court on Cambridge Street in Birmingham.

Ageing Better in Birmingham is a project which aims to drive down loneliness and isolation among people over 50 across the city. It is funded by a £6 million, six-year grant supported by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Samantha Julius, Community Project Coordinator at Groundwork West Midlands, leads on supporting the group of older people who have helped organise the event.

She said: ”It’s important to celebrate the contributions people over 50 make to Birmingham, so that we can be proud of the community we live in. By working together, we have come up with a interactive and fun event with lots of opportunities to connect with others.

”We’re examining the positive aspects of ageing, making connections, and putting on a day of enjoyment. And it’s free to attend!”

People who come along will be able to learn how to dance like a Bollywood star with professional dance artist Aruna Kailey, and take part in a powerful art project with Jane Thakoordin, founder of Birmingham Artivistas, and Margaret Murray, a fine artist and artivist.

The event also promises an exciting opportunity to make new friends through speed-friending, an opportunity for socialising without any of the pressure, shyness and nervousness normally associated with meeting new people.

Robert Cummings, 66 of Shard End, Tyburn, Birmingham, is part of the organising team and he said: “It is important to make friends all your life by proactively looking at how to make connections with people.”

Furthermore, there will be focused discussions around making Birmingham more Age-Friendly, and an emphasis on Health and Social Care for Older Adults.

Stephen Raybould, Programmes Director for Ageing Better in Birmingham, said: “One of the key aspects of our programme is to listen to the voices of people over 50 from across the city. It’s really important that citizens’ voices are heard, and so guests will have the opportunity to meet industry experts and ask the questions that are important to them.”

Anyone wanting to come along should contact Samantha Julius on 0121 530 5521, or email samantha.julius@groundwork.org.uk