Day one of festival fun!

I don’t normally like to work on my Monday off, in fact I actively avoid it. But when I was invited to take part in the launch of Age Proud Festival Leeds on Monday 6 September I jumped at the chance. What a brilliant day!

The Leeds Playhouse venue was amazing and Maggie and the team were really helpful. A big shout out too to Zoe from the Playhouse for donning a festival t-shirt and helping out on the reception desk.

My role was to meet, greet and sign people into the event, helping to make sure that the it was all as Covid-secure as possible. All helpers wore masks, we took temperatures and provided free face coverings, hand sanitiser and plenty of socially-distant seating to help people feel safe and confident whilst they were there. This was particularly important as some older people attending the festival told us that this was their first time in town since lockdown or that they were nervous about using the bus and coming into a busy venue.

It was an action-packed day and it went by in the blink of an eye. Councillor Venner (Executive Member for Adult and Children's Social Care) formally opened the festival, which was followed by a series of song and dance performances, all starring older people. There were also information stalls and lots of activities for the public to get involved in, from hand massage to Chinese lantern making, embroidery to Sari draping.

My favourite part of the day had to be meeting people face-to-face (after soooo long using Zoom) and experiencing the joyous atmosphere that this created. In an email we received during the event one older person said “I watched some wonderful dancing by a ladies dance group. I found it very uplifting, thank you”.

This launch event was just the beginning of a 12-day Age Proud Festival in Leeds, so there are plenty more things to get involved in until Friday 17 September. There are over 100 events around the city, live and online. See the full programme on the festival website , or call Leeds Older People’s Forum on 0113 244 1697 to find out what’s on. We’re working hard to make sure that all face-to-face events are Covid-secure.

I’m going to be part of the festival team at Leeds City Museum from Thursday 9-Saturday 11 September, so pop in, say hello and see what’s on offer. All events throughout the festival are free or low cost, and open to all ages. All are guaranteed to be fun, friendly, welcoming and accessible. So please do join in and create some lovely new memories. What have you got to lose?

Time to feel good about ageing? Oh yes!
Working on a Saturday? I can’t wait!

Lisa Fearn
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Time to Shine


Age Proud Festival Leeds
It’s time to feel good about ageing

Leeds first Age Proud Festival takes place from 6-17 September at a range of venues across the city as well as lots of virtual events from the comfort of your own living room. We aim to showcase Leeds as a great, community focussed city with lots to offer older people. A place where people can feel involved and valued.

Find out everything about the festival, including details of all events, at www.ageproudfestivalleeds.org

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