Saturday, September 19

Project Brighton: Brighton and Hove Older People’s Festival

- September 4, 2017

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Based around the United Nations International Older People’s Day, the Brighton and Hove Older People’s Festival is now in its second year. From a city never shy of putting on a festival and wanting to promote and celebrate the value that people aged 50+ bring to our unique city, the OPF presents an eclectic series of events and festivities.

Building on the success of 2016, Sussex charity Impact Initiatives have put together a more expansive and wider reaching Festival for 2017. They have made this possible through collaborating with Brighton & Hove City Council, voluntary sector organisations and local businesses. Impact CEO Caroline Ridley said: “we have worked with some brilliant people, all of whom have been instrumental in organising this year’s two-week long event, including the fabulous teams at Osomi and SEA PR.

“In addition, award winning photographer Maria Scard has put together an inspirational photography exhibition which highlights the talents and contributions of some of our city’s residents who are aged 50+ which will be at Brighton Station and Impact’s Hop 50+.”

The festival is based on the theme set by the UN for this year which is ‘Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society’.

It is well established that more people are living to an older age, but what does this mean for us and how do we make sure we enjoy life and keep healthier for longer?

Academics, medics and older people all tell us that key to this is:
Having a purpose
Having friends
Being active

Stepping into the future is best given some forethought and Impact hope the OPF will encourage and inspire this. The Festival’s Rejuve-nation photographic exhibition captures some great examples of how older people are using their talents to keep a sense of purpose, maintain and make new friendships and keep active. These include running foodbanks, joining various groups and clearing woodland for others to enjoy.

The festival aims to bring people together to try something new, meet others and participate in city life, which Impact hope will lead to many being active for longer and create some great memories and sparks of inspiration.

The OPF is supported by a grant from Public Health at Brighton and Hove City Council to help meet their aim of older people to have a good quality of life in the city, and for the city to be a great place in which to age.

Currently 13% (35, 800) of Brighton and Hove Residents are aged 65 and over, and the number of people aged 75+ is expected to increase by 10% from 2011 to 2021.

The festival aims to bring people together to try something new, meet others and participate in city life

Sarah Podmore from Public Health said: “We want to challenge stigma around ageing by presenting a positive profile of older people. Celebrating the United Nations Older People’s Day through this festival is key to this – it gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions that older people make to our city, as well as tackling outdated attitudes and negative stereotypes. We believe that making the city friendly for older people will make it friendly for everyone.”

The festival is stacked with great events for people to enjoy what the city has to offer. These include guided walks and tours, music and dance events, Big Debate Films, opportunities to learn new skills from IT to fixing old furniture, and even a chance to visit Brighton and Hove’s sewers! A highlight will be Herbie Flowers performing at the Open Market on 1 October, playing his many well-known classics including those he collaborated on with David Bowie and Iggy Pop.

Above all the festival aims for everybody to have a fantastic two weeks and to leave with some great memories, have a great time celebrating being aged 50+ and to celebrate the contributions people aged 50+ make to our unique city.

Older People’s Festival runs from 25th September to 8th October.

More information including listings and how to book events is at www.OPF.org.uk. There is also a Facebook page found by searching for Older People’s Festival, and you can follow on Twitter @OPF2017.

Impact Initiatives can be contacted on 01273 322940.

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