Chelford Together a voluntary organisation in Chelford whose aim is to reduce social isolation and loneliness, particularly in older persons, held a special afternoon tea recently to celebrate Silver Sunday.
Silver Sunday was launched in 2012 by The Sir Simon Milton Foundation and Westminster City Councillor Christabel Flight, after a report discovered more than a third of people over 75 said they were lonely. The aim then was to celebrate older residents, recognise their contribution to their communities and help them get out and about to meet new people.
Silver Sunday 2012 was a fantastic success with over 2,000 people taking part in 19 events in Westminster alone. It gained the support of Joanna Lumley, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Michael Parkinson. The following year the success in Westminster encouraged Silver Sunday to encourage others nationally to get involved; the event grew significantly with over 150 events being held across the country.
Every year since we have seen fantastic growth both in the number of events and in people taking part in Westminster and across the UK, from Orpington to Orkney. In 2018 there were around 1,000 events attended by around 50,000 older people participating in events as varied as walking football, art classes, tea parties, dances, tai chi, boat rides and cultural experiences.
The ambition of Silver Sunday is to create a day in the nation's hearts where older people feel valued and are given new opportunities to get out of the house, keep their minds and bodies active, learn new skills, make new friends and connect with the communities and generations around them. Silver Sunday is growing phenomenally thanks to the community of people who host activities and events for older people near them.
Silver Sunday is supported by a wide range of celebrities including Will Young, performer: "I feel really energised because I've had incredible conversations with so many interesting people. Bringing everyone together to a neutral place of interest allows everyone just to connect – of all ages. What Silver Sunday is doing is vital. The great thing is all the people who have got involved. The scope is endless."
Angela Rippon CBE: "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."
Joanna Lumley, OBE FRGS: "This is a special day for older people to get involved in community events and activities to bring back some of the traditional community spirit. It's also a small thank you for your contribution to society."
The Silver Sunday afternoon tea was held in Chelford Community Hub and the whole event was organised by volunteers, whether they were making sandwiches, yummy cake, trifles or helping serve the meal to around 35 people. Nigel Jehan, Chair of Chelford Community Hub said "This is exactly what our great community facility is about, bringing people together and creating a caring, compassionate and vibrant community. It's a pleasure to see so many smiling faces"
Shirley Marahall, 84 , who lives in Chelford was one of the attendees and says " It was a fantastic afternoon of people getting together, to chat, have fun and enjoy good food. The Hub is a lifeline to many here, and gets people out of their homes. It certainly makes a difference to my life"
The plans are underway for Silver Sunday 2020, hopefully with a larger event, or a series of events throughout Chelford. David Kent Secretary of Chelford Together said "We are always looking for volunteers to help us, and in particular we are looking for young persons to help us with our aims"
For further information on Chelford Together or Chelford Community Hub please contact David Kent firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 01625 861038