10 days ’til virtual festival time!

By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead

JUST ten days to go to the annual Ageing Well Festival online and on Riviera FM.

We would have loved to bring everyone together in the Riviera Centre in Torquay for the annual celebrations, but we felt that was a step too far in these uncertain times. For now.

But the party will go ahead on Friday, October 1st from 10am to 2pm, both streaming from the home page of the ageingwelltorbay.com website and for two hours (from 10am to 11am, and 1pm to 2pm) on Riviera 107.9 FM

Once again, we have pulled together a cornucopia of talent from across the Bay, and the Festival will feature a traditional mix of music, dance, talks, exercise, advice, hidden histories and much, much more.

But what makes this year’s Festival even more special is the opportunity to join friends to watch it in venues across the Bay at special screenings that will be hosted by Community Builders.

You can join Victoria Campbell at The Edge in Brixham by giving her a ring on 07832 781031, or Amanda Lynn at the All Saints Church Hall, Cary Avenue in Babbacombe by calling 07548 704792. You could join others at the Torquay Museum by calling Marianne Parker on 07469 660875 or at the Together Church in  St James Road, Torre with Leah Whitcher by calling  07703 715235. You could join Theo Tanser at Barton Baptist Church in Happaway Road by calling 07599 993987. Finally, you can enjoy the Festival in the splendid surroundings of the Palace Theatre in Paignton by calling Ruth Tshoukas on 07703 715236.

It should be a great day with music from the Torbay Rock Choir, Maggie Duffy and Jane Anderson, history talks from Kevin Dixon, exercise classes with Anne George and Lisa Kay. There’s a bit of theatre with the South Devon Players and fascinating life stories from Frank Wye and Rodger Smith.

IN addition, there is sound advice from the Devon and Cornwall police on how to avoid being scammed and lots of good pointers from the Torbay and South Devon NHS Healthy Lifestyles team.

We also have a short video about the Torbay Velovets, a group of veteran cyclists who ride around the cycle track next to the Torbay Leisure Centre twice a month. Then there is a tour of the soon to be renovated Paignton Picture House – one of only five cinemas in the country recognised by English Heritage as being of special interest.

Add to that the true-life story of Hazel Howe’s encounter with pirates on the high seas and a quick tour of Torbay Together –  a website that provides opportunities for everyone from volunteering to Timebanking to events across the Bay.

FAIR, a financial advice service that was set up with the help of Ageing Well, has really come into its own during the COVID crisis, and we will be featuring their unique way of working through peer to peer support.

And you won’t want to miss the update with Tony Satchwell, the man who was lonely for more than ten years before his plight was featured in newspapers and on television. We catch up with him to find out how his life has changed.

There are plenty of stories from the Torbay Community Helpline that started in March 2020 in response to the pandemic and has proved so effective in providing support for our communities that it is now a permanent fixture.

Heard the one about the artist Phil Eley who is three-quarters of the way through his challenge of creating a piece of art a day for a year? We feature him and some of the more than 200 works he has produced so far.

We really do think that this year, we have got something for everyone and lessons learned last year have been taken to heart to make the content more engaging, more interesting and pithier.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg – and this column is not nearly long enough to list everything, but if you want more detail go to the ageingwelltorbay.com website for a programme.

Don’t forget! Friday, October 1st (the World Health Organizations International Day of Older People) between 10am and 2pm. Keep in touch; you can email to share your thoughts and give feedback or call 07715 7703030 on the day. It should be fun!