How do you want to socialise, as lockdown eases a step further?

By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead

We can’t be the only ones getting excited at the prospect of restrictions being further relaxed from next Monday, May 17th.

Finally, a chance to socialise, meet up with old friends and have a cup of tea, coffee or something stronger outside the confines of your own home.

Monday means that within reason and still exercising caution, we can meet up with another household inside, though it is still subject to the rule of six even in cafes, restaurants and pubs.

It also means that events bringing people together will once again take place in halls and venues across the Bay, and our Community Builders have been busy planning a wide range of activities to suit everyone.

We are aware that not everyone is ready to embrace the new tiers of ‘normal’, and we have taken that into account with a healthy mix of indoor and outdoor activities to cater for all tastes.

Over the next few weeks, the Community Builders will be popping up in communities across the Bay to find out what people want and when they want it and whilst we have already spoken to lots of you, we want to hear more.

We want to get it just right and be able to provide the support needed for the more nervous, many of whom have been shielding for more than a year now as well as those who can’t wait to get out and about again.

For many, it will be their first chance to meet the people who have been helping them through the various lockdowns or to finally put a face to the voice that has befriended them over the phone through regular calls.

For others, it will be the first time that they have seen friends for more than 12 months, let alone sat and had a drink together, taken part in an exercise group in the park or simply gone for a walk and a chat.

After all that we have gone through, some may struggle to embrace the new normal and may prefer to wait a little longer and that is OK too. Even when all legal restrictions are lifted on June 21st it would be best to err on the side of caution.

Sadly though, the bad news is that the annual Ageing Well Festival planned for the RICC in October has had to be put back again, but the good news is we are once again creating a virtual festival.

The hardworking committee behind the festival remains undaunted and is rising to the challenge of bringing you the very best talent that the Bay has to offer, whether that is speakers, craft makers, dancers, singers, or exercise class leaders.

Once again, we aim to replicate the heady mix that is an Ageing Well Festival – only doing it online and hopefully over the airwaves with Riviera FM. But first and foremost we need your ideas.

As usual, we want to know what you want to see, what you want to hear as part of the festival and we look forward to receiving your suggestions to the email address at the end of this article.

We are already lining up films from local theatre groups, a comedy video and perhaps an online clowning workshop as well as featuring the fabulous work of many others active in Paignton, Torquay and Brixham.

We aim to stream the festival on the World Health Organisation’s International Day of Older People, which falls on Friday, October 1st, so please pop that date in your diary now.

As always there will be a lot to pack into four hours of online material, but we are also looking at perhaps bringing people together in smaller numbers to share the watching experience.

We have learned a lot over six years of running festivals and we want to build on that to celebrate older people in the Bay and to extol their achievements.

The festival may not be until October, but we need to hit the ground running and we are planning to start filming and recording for it early next month, so please get your ideas to us soonest.

If you want to submit ideas, then please drop us an email,  and if you want to know more about what is happening in your area with your Community Builder – all their contact details can be found here:–timebank