On Monday 26th March 2018, Ageing Better in Birmingham held its annual Spring Forward event that is coordinated by Groundwork West Midlands and the Age of Experience group. The aim of Spring Forward is to celebrate the positive contribution that people over 50 make in communities across the city and to celebrate ageing. This year’s event was held at Austin Court and focussed on celebrating the involvement of people in the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme, recognising the effort and commitment of people who have started a new activity to enable people in communities to come together and reduce their social isolation. Everyone who attended the event has been involved in the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme, by either leading or attending an activity that encourages people to get together and make new friends and connections across the city.
We have seen so many different types of activity starting, supported by the Ageing Better Fund and our Network Enablers, such as:
- Arts and Crafts sessions
- Exercise and Dancing
- Debating groups
- Film nights
- Theatre groups
- Gardening and allotment activity
- Book clubs
- Computer classes
- Coffee mornings
Our Spring Forward event was a way of showcasing some of these activities to people who have been involved in the programme. To open the day, the Silverstone Court Choir, which has previously been funded through the Ageing Better Fund. They entertained us with beautiful renditions of Rivers of Babylon, Will You Still Love Me Ttomorrow and an outstanding solo performance of What a Wonderful World. Throughout the day there were showcases from The Barmy Knitters, Arts Galore and Creative Threads illustrating the amazing talents, skills and passions of those who have taken part in activities within their community.
As part of the event, several workshops were coordinated and held by Groundwork West Midlands, which were:
- Cooking classes
- Core based excercises
- Gardening for beginners
- Financial skills and awareness
Our Age of Experience group took the lead, with support from Groundwork West Midlands and the programme team, to design the event and took an active role in organising and coordinating the day to make sure that everything ran smoothly, one of our members Susan gave an introductory speech about the importance of being involved and encouraging others to give their time to help shape the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme in the future.
The day was fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended.
Nina, one of our Age of Experience members who helped organise the reception, said: “The sun came out and shone on us all on the 26th of March 18 for our ‘Spring Forward’ activity and fun day. The live entertainment was so beautiful. In the afternoon the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham Shafique Shah came, what a gentleman, a lovely man. I loved the experience. Thank you.”