300 free events and activities will take place across the country on and around Silver Sunday on 2 October. The national day for people aged 65 and over started in Westminster and is now a national event with over 100 organisations hosting free events and activities.
The day aims to combat loneliness by providing a packed schedule of free events for older people to try something new and meet new people. Over 1 million older people haven’t spoken to a friend, family member or neighbour for at least a month according to Age UK. Half of people aged 75 and over in the UK live alone and more than a million older people say they feel lonely.
Last year, 92% of people who took part in Silver Sunday said it helped them to try something new and feel part of their community whilst 90% said they met new people.
Care homes across the country are also set to join in celebrations with Sanctuary Care hosting tea dances at 69 care homes across the UK including 5 in Westminster.
This year is set to be the biggest yet with highlights including Pickleball in Witney, Singing in Hove, a memory lane tea party in Fife and reflexology in Chelsea. Older people living in Westminster can try tai chi and dim sum workshops, enjoy a tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground or take part in ballet classes with English National Ballet. The British Museum is hosting an Age Friendly Museum’s Day for people living in care homes. There is also an old time Music Hall event at St John’s Smith Square including a performance from children from the Sylvia Young Theatre School on Friday 30 September.
Goddette Jeffrey who lives in Westminster took part in Silver Sunday last year. She said: “Silver Sunday has been absolutely marvellous. This is the first time I’ve taken up the opportunity of doing something new and different.”
Silver Sunday is supported by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. He said: “It is so important that older people feel included in London’s communities. That is why I support Silver Sunday and hope that you all have a wonderful time celebrating the valuable contributions that older people make. These contributions span not just London but up and down the UK.
“In a city as large as London there is no need for older people to ever feel lonely or isolated but sadly some do. As Mayor, I want to make sure that everyone is engaged and active in their community – young or older.”
Cllr Christabel Flight, Older Person’s Champion for Westminster City Council and Founder of Silver Sunday, said: “Some people don’t like to admit they’re feeling lonely. Silver Sunday is a positive way to help overcome loneliness by meeting new people whilst trying something new.
“If you have an older neighbour or relative who you think may benefit from Silver Sunday, please do let them know about it or bring them along to one of the hundreds of events on offer.”
Silver Sunday supporter, Angela Rippon, says: "Who cares what it says on your birth certificate - it's how you feel about yourself that matters. We all have just one life to live. Make sure you live it to the full."
For events taking place across the UK, please visit the Silver Sunday website.