By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead
It has been said many times in the few months that we live in interesting times and to achieve, what used to be ‘normal’ and commonplace, we have to get creative.
For the last five months, Ageing Well Torbay events have been in abeyance as we instead focused all our efforts on making sure no-one was isolated and no-one went without food or medications during the coronavirus crisis.
For obvious reasons, there have been no public meetups, no creative workshops, no exercise programmes – indoors or outdoors – no sing-alongs, no dancing, no coffee mornings, no afternoon tea and no sports.
We are beginning to put some things onto Zoom and encouraging as many people as possible (within Government guidelines) to support each other, whether that is meeting in small groups, online or on the phone.
We had of course planned to give a flavour of everything Ageing Well Torbay stands for and supports at the annual celebration of ageing that is the Ageing Well Festival, in October at the Riviera Centre but again that has had to be put on a back burner.
None of us has a crystal ball, particularly when it comes to this virus, but hopefully, we will be in a position to go ahead with the Festival next April as long as it is deemed safe to bring 2000 people together in one place.
All of which got us thinking. We are not the type of people to give up when faced with a problem; on the contrary, it makes us all the more determined to find a solution, as have on many occasions since the programme started more than five years ago.
Across the Bay, there are examples of groups that have been set up because that is what people wanted. Our Community Builders were on hand to recognise the demand and help overcome a few obstacles to make it a reality.
We have helped set up everything from flash mob dance groups, to book clubs, from yoga classes to walking groups, from afternoon tea groups to railway modellers and from lunch clubs to mix and mingle sessions in Brixham, Torquay and Paignton.
It is what we do best ensuring that everyone over 50 gets to celebrate their celebrate ageing, doing what they love to do.
Which brings us back to the Ageing Well Festival – a celebration of ageing where we showcase everything that the older generation has to offer, all in one day and all under one roof.
And that is what we are going to do again this year. Nearly. We will celebrate ageing and we will showcase everything that the older generation has to offer, all in one day and here is the difference – all under one roof. Your roof.
On October 24th when should all have been at the Riviera Centre in Torquay, we will be @Home – virtually together to watch, listen and perhaps take part in a series of events being beamed into your living room or wherever you listen to the radio or perch in front of the computer
This week we started recording a series of talks, exercise classes, demonstrations and showcases that will be broadcast via Facebook, YouTube or played out on Torbay’s very own community radio station, Riviera FM on 107.9.
It is a huge and complex undertaking but one that we hope will fill the gap caused by COVID-19 and prove all our resilience in the face of adversity. And to pull it off successfully we need an audience, so please pop the date in your diary and help us spread the word.
The line up is by no means final, but we plan to bring you the very best the talent of the Bay has to offer between 10am and midday and between 1pm and 3pm – all compered by presenters from Riviera FM
Brenda Loosemore, a popular speaker at previous festivals, took to the stage in an empty auditorium at the Palace Theatre in Paignton to pay tribute to and reminisce on the life of the Queen. Not to be missed, I assure you.
Over the coming weeks we are planning on getting more talks on tape. We will also be recording dance and exercise classes, producing a series of ‘how to’ videos and be taking you on tours of the Brixham Battery and Torre Abbey.
See you there. October 24th. For more details, watch this space and go to: ageingwelltorbay.com/awf20/