Celebrating Older People’s Day with the Ageing Well Festival. Bringing a vibrant and empowering outlook on life after 50.

East Sussex Seniors’ Association have had 13 successful years of celebrating Older People’s Day (traditionally celebrated on 1 October) with events across the county, but it’s time to shake things up. This year with the support of seniors forums across the County we are launching the all new Ageing Well Festival, bringing a vibrant and empowering outlook on life after 50.

The Ageing Well Festival is here to celebrate all the wonderful things people over the age of 50 contribute to our communities. To inspire generations to live long and full lives and to show you’re never too old to work on your health and wellbeing and above all have fun.

As a result of Covid-19 and on advice from East Sussex Public Health it has not been possible to arrange and promote physical events for this year’s celebration. Instead, event organisers have been quick to adapt bringing the people of East Sussex a number of virtual events and a series of inspirational stories.

Celebrate Older People’s Day with the Ageing Well Festival 2020 – events will take place online throughout September and October with a range of informative events, quizzes and creative activities.

Need help joining the virtual Ageing Well Festival?

There are several online events planned and organisers are ready to support anyone who is new to this virtual life. Just let them know at the time of booking if you think you might need help getting online.

IT for You at home – East Sussex Libraries
Throughout September and October

Need help or advice about using your laptop or tablet to stay connect to friends and family, use email or access the latest information? The East Sussex Libraries team of volunteers is available to help you over the phone. Call 0345 60 80 196 and they will arrange for one of their volunteers to call you at home. Visit their website for more information. 

Carers Groups – Care for the Carers
Throughout September and October 

Do you look after someone who couldn’t manage without your help? It could be a friend, family member or neighbour who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction could not cope without your support. Join Care for the Carers regular carers groups taking place by phone or online across East Sussex. The groups are a safe and friendly space to relax, have a tea or coffee and chat with other carers. Our groups include wellbeing groups, information and advice groups, dementia groups, mental health groups and a young adult carer group. For further information or to join a group, call 01323 738390, email info@cftc.org.uk or text 07860 077300. You can also check out the available groups on the Care for the Carers website.

Ageing Well Festival: Online events

When we’re 64: A guide to a great later life – A HAIRE project event
Wednesday 16 September, 2pm to 3pm

Join Louise Ansari, author, Director of Communications at the Centre for Ageing Better, and East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group board member and local resident, in conversation as we explore how to have a great later life. Who could ask for more?

Register for this event online

Well-being for adults with cognitive problems and family carers – The Oyster Project
Every Friday 10.30am to 11.30am

A weekly online workshop, to learn mindfulness, relaxation techniques and gentle movement. At the end of the session you will be led on a journey to a beautiful peaceful place created in a mind visualization. This group is just as much for carers as it is for people with disabilities. Limited spaces for this group, book early! Email foreststarhannah@gmail.com or call 01273 476077 for more information.

Singing and gentle movement for adults with cognitive problems – The Oyster Project
Every Monday 2pm to 2.40pm

A weekly workshop, expression through voice and movement, using vocal warm ups, simple songs and moving together to music. This group is just as much for carers as it is for people with disabilities. You are welcome to drop in for a session, or come regularly. Places are limited so book early. Email foreststarhannah@gmail.com or call 01273 476077 for more information.

Kindness and coronavirus – A HAIRE project event
Wednesday 23 September, 1pm to 2pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought enormous personal, social, and economic challenges to our lives. Through the upheaval of adapting to coronavirus, might more kindness be part of its legacy? Come and join kindness experts the Carnegie Trust UK in conversation as we explore how we can be kinder.

Register for this event online

Technology tutorial – Sussex Housing & Care
Monday 28 September, 10.30am to 11.30am

Would you like to know more about social media? Ever wondered what a hashtag is and why people use it? Would you like to know about privacy settings on Facebook? This tutorial is a one-stop shop for exploring Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with demonstrations and chance to ask your own questions. Email lizzie.gurr@sussexhousing.org.uk for more information.

The Psychology of Loneliness – A HAIRE project event
Wednesday 30 September, 1pm to 2pm

Coronavirus has had a profound impact on our ability to connect with people. Understanding our ‘internal’ experience of loneliness and what we can do about it has never been more important. Join Kate Shurety, Executive Director of Campaign to End Loneliness, to discuss loneliness in later life.

Register for this event online

Older people’s day 2020 – Hourglass
Thursday 1 October, anytime from this date

Hourglass do vital work in supporting older people affected by abuse and exploitation but also working towards a greater focus on safer ageing and a fairer society for all older people. Please join us to hear about the local community-based services we will be providing to help older people live well in Sussex. Email gailshanahan@wearehourglass.org for more information.

What is the CWCG? – A Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Friday 2 October, 10am to 11am

Are you interested in learning more about the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission? Megan Maltby, Senior Public Events Coordinator for the CWGC, will be giving a virtual presentation about the history of the CWGC and how our work continues today.Email megan.maltby@cwgc.org for more information.

Water Palaver! – South East Water & Southern Water
Friday 2 October, 10am to 10.40am

Advice on what your water companies offer in the way of financial & nonfinancial help including our priority services register – this service can deliver water free of charge to vulnerable customers in the event of a burst pipe or planned works. Email sheila.bowdery@southeastwater.co.uk for more information.

Dementia Friends information session – Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance
Tuesday 6 October, 11am to 11.45am

Learn how living with dementia affects a person and how to help and support them in a more understanding way.

Register for this event online.

How to age – A HAIRE project event
Tuesday 6 October, 6pm to 7pm

As a culture, have we become ‘anti-age’, fearing frailty and loneliness, or denying the ageing process altogether? What would it mean to be ‘pro-age’? Join award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and writer Anne Karpf in conversation on what it means to age, and how to do it well.

Register for this event online

Virtual war graves cemetery tour – Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Friday 9 October, 10am to 11.30am

Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey is the largest Commonwealth War Grave Commission site in the UK. Join this virtual tour where we will explore the stories of some of the causalities buried here, why they are here and discuss the importance of remembrance. Email megan.maltby@cwgc.org for more information.

Virtual coffee morning – Sussex Housing & Care
Monday 12 October, 10.30am to 11.30am

Enjoy using video calling to see other people on your screen. Have a chat and a coffee and learn about using software such as Zoom to keep in touch with friends and family from the comfort of your own home. Email lizzie.gurr@sussexhousing.org.uk for more information.

Over 50s beginners Pilates class from Active Hastings
Tuesday 13 October, 10am to 11am

A class for over 50s who have not yet given Pilates a go. The session will be a gentle introduction to what a typical class would look like. Regular Pilates can improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension. Email activehastings@hastings.org.uk or call 01424 451051 for more information.

Learn to cook with the Community Chef
Tuesday 20 October to Tuesday 17 November, 11am

A five week healthy eating cookery course focussing on the prevention and management of diabetes. Suitable for beginners and experienced cooks this course will teach you how to prepare low-carb, wholesome and delicious food that can help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. Robin Van Creveld will guide you through the process in this virtual cooking lesson. Find out more online or contact the Community Chef direct for a subsidized place. You might also be interested in Robin’s 5 week Man With a Pan course starting on 19 November.

Finding purpose in later life – A HAIRE project event
Wednesday 21 October, 6pm to 7pm

Join internationally renowned writer, social entrepreneur, and leading later life expert Marc Freedman to discuss why older age can come with a diminishing sense of direction. Find out how we can find meaningful activity that serves our innate need for purpose as well as the greater good.

Register for this event online

We all have something to offer: Are older people included in our communities? – A HAIRE project event
Wednesday 28 October, 3pm to 4pm

Being included in a community is about more than just living in it. Come and join the National Team for Inclusion talk about whether older people feel they belong and what needs to happen so that people’s lives reach beyond the four walls they live within.

Register for this event online

Ageing Well Festival: Virtual quizzes

Test your general knowledge with fun, light-hearted online quizzes hosted by local partnerships. These are a great way to meet new people, have a chat and play along with others as you give those mental muscles a stretch – all from the comfort of your own home. Pens and paper at the ready!

Host: Sussex Housing & Care
Monday 21 September, 10.30am to 11.30am

Email lizzie.gurr@sussexhousing.org.uk for more information.

Host: Eastbourne Seniors Forum
Wednesday 30 September, 4pm to 5pm

To participate you will need access to Zoom and will need to email judythurlow@gmail.com with your name by end of the day Friday September 25th to receive the Zoom code.

Host: The Keep Archives
Available online now!

The county’s archive centre has devised a series of quizzes inspired by the collections in its care. Put your knowledge of East Sussex history and culture to the test. Take The Keep’s Quarantine Quiz now! 

Ageing Well Festival: Let’s get creative!

Sing your story – Intergenerational Opera
Anytime throughout October

Singing makes you feel good! Just like exercise it releases the body’s natural stress and pain relievers. When we sing together with others it promotes a sense of belonging and leaves us feeling connected with our community which, in turn, improves mood, wakes up the body and reduces anxiety. Download a 30-minute singing workshop from Download a 30-minute singing workshop from Intergenerational Opera.

Liberated observational drawing – The Oyster Project
Thursday 15 October, 2pm to 3.30pm

Whether you are haven’t drawn since childhood, or are an accomplished artist, this is a different way of experiencing drawing which can open your mind to the act of drawing and enable you to feel differently about it. Hannah is a qualified and experienced artist and workshop facilitator. Open to people with disabilities. Email foreststarhannah@gmail.com or call 01273 476077 for more information.

Inter-generational Musical Line Drawing – The Oyster Project
Thursday 24 October, 11am to 11.45am

This workshop gives you the key to unlocking the freedom of your own world expressing yourself through mark making on paper, using music and visualization. Anyone is welcome, whether you are an experienced artist or a scared artist. This workshop is open to everyone over the age of seven years old, as well as people living with disabilities including cognitive disabilities such as dementia. Hannah is an experienced artist and workshop facilitator. Email foreststarhannah@gmail.com or call 01273 476077 for more information.

Poets’ corner – Meridian Mature Citizens Forum
Any time throughout September and October

A chance for the talented (and not so) to share their own poetry, prose or favourite poems with others. Funny poems, poems related to COVID-19, limericks or haikus – let your imagination run wild! All entries will be shown on the Meridian Mature Citizens Forum website. Submit your poems with the authors name and subject line “Poets Corner” by email to meridianseniorsforum@gmail.com

Ageing Well Festival: Stories to inspire

We have some wonderful contributions to the festival programme this year, including inspiring stories and tips on how to age well:

Being a voice for older people – how East Sussex Seniors Association began

How to stay healthy as you get older

Meet the Seaford Mermaids

Speaking up for BAME older people in East Sussex: Hope-G

Using Facetime to provide respite care

The Lewes House of Friendship heroes

Planning for a local outbreak – are you ready?

We hope you have fun Celebrating Older People’s Day with the Ageing Well Festival!

Download the Ageing Well Festival 2020 brochure


Photo credit: Carlotta Luke / carlottaluke.com