A couple of weeks back a group of people got together at Two Snowhill Tower in Birmingham. They were met with a nice spread of afternoon tea, delicious cakes and great friends and aquaintances. Java & Chow is a group for 50+ LGBT people and their friends of all ages. They regularly get together for coffee mornings and lunch clubs at various venues in Birmingham city centre.
The lovely Jeraldene, who is also part of our Age of Experience Group encourages people of all ages and walks of life to come and join the group. She was recently interviewed by BBC West Midlands about her experiences with Ageing Better in Birmingham. She has talked about having a sort of "ageing policy, a plan for what to do when you get older and you may no longer be surrounded by colleagues, friends or family on a regular basis.
For Jeraldene, "the best part of Java & Chow is that you get to meet so many different people. Not having the same group of people coming every week means there's always something to talk about. We talk about everything from people's holidays, what has happened since we last met, to going clubbing in Birmingham!"
When Java & Chow met at Two Snowhill they were supported by Gowling WLG, a global legal practice with offices in Birmingham. Gowling WLG helped pay for the selection of cakes on offer, the tea and also provided the wonderful space, which has great views over Birmingham. Anyone in Birmingham can start an activity like Java & Chow's, or something else to get isolated over 50s become better connected with their local community. It could be activities for older carers, people who are experiencing isolation because of mobility needs, who don't feel confident speaking English or using a computer. It could be an activity to get people over 80 to meet with people under 20, or something for older lgbt people, the list is basically endless! Wherever you see a need, we want to hear from you. Maybe you want to set up your own Great Birmingham Bake Off?
Our Ageing Better Fund was set up to help start activities to help reduce isolation and benefit older people in Birmingham. The fund can pay for expenses up to £2,000. To find out more, speak to one of our Ageing Better Hubs (click here).
And to find out what other activities there is for isolated older people in Birmingham, head over to our Events Page (click here).