Silver Linings for Hackney’s older residents with fun, free activities
“A project like this gives older people something else to talk about other than aches and pains!” said one member of Silver Linings, a series of creative classes specially designed to get the over-50s helping each other, meeting new people and learning new skills.
Activities are held at four venues across the borough – in Clapton, Hackney Wick, Hoxton and Stamford Hill- and are led by older people for older people, with activities chosen by those who attend the clubs.
Maureen Sammon, 81, from the Trowbridge Estate, recently enjoyed a mosaic-making class. “It’s a lot better than sitting on your own,” she said. “The activities are brilliant – mosaic is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’d say to other older people in Hackney: make the effort to come, it’s so worthwhile.”
The sessions, which are held monthly, have so far included micro-vegetable gardening, mosaic art and ballroom dancing.
Pam Sheldrake, 69, added: “I like this as it will make me start something new which I can hopefully carry on doing. The activities are really fun and you meet new people.”
Alongside getting older people trying new things and getting to know their neighbours, the project allows them to make a contribution to their local community through the Silver Linings Incentive Scheme.
The scheme encourages members to help other older people, from teaching friends exercises learnt at sessions, to simply putting out their neighbours bins for them if they find it difficult..
Sheena Marsh, 59 from Wick Village, said: “It’s nice to meet other people, take up new things and do things that I’ve always wanted to try out.”
The clubs take place at: Trowbridge Pensioners Hall, on the Trowbridge Estate, Hackney Wick; Starlight’s Fellows Court Community Centre in Hoxton; Ben Simons Hall in Stamford Hill; and the Groundwork London’s Free Range Garden & Office in Lower Clapton.
Silver Linings is delivered by Groundwork London in partnership with Hackney Council Resident Participation & Communities Department and aims to reduce the risk of loneliness for Hackney Residents.
Silver Linings is part of Connect Hackney, which is led by older people, for older people. It is managed by Hackney CVS and funded by the Big Lottery’s Ageing Better Fund.