Belfast’s first citywide ‘Positive Ageing’ Festival, October 13-17, will be a grand celebration of the valuable contribution that seniors make to the life of the city.
During the week there will be more than 60 events held across Belfast including arts and crafts sessions, concerts, drama workshops, health and fitness advice, digital photography seminars and creative writing groups.
The showpiece of the week is a ‘Seniors Festival’, including a free gala concert and dance in the Great Hall at Belfast City Hall from 2-4pm on Wednesday, October 15 featuring the all-star Balmoral Big Band, an 18 piece swing orchestra playing the songs of yesteryear.
Before the music starts, members of the Belfast Community Sports Development Network (BCSDN) and Active Communities coaches from Belfast City Council will put seniors through their paces, giving them advice on fitness and a healthier lifestyle.
And from 1-2pm visitors can indulge themselves with a High Tea, reminiscent of the cream teas served in the luxurious hotels and tearooms of Belfast in the middle of the last century.
Positive Ageing Week is being organised by Springfield Charitable Association, the West Belfast Partnership Board and the South Belfast Partnership Board. For the past two years the SCA has held its own ‘Positive Ageing Week’ in the west of the city but this is the first time it has been extended citywide.
Róisín Bradley from Springfield Charitable Association said the aim of Positive Ageing Week was to highlight the many activities available to seniors and to improve their social lives, their fitness levels and mental wellbeing.
“We want to show that Belfast is an ‘Age Friendly City’, that no-one should be lonely, filling endless hours with daytime TV. We are encouraging all of the city’s seniors to get out, meet people and enjoy the hundreds of events available in Belfast, “ she said.
“This is all about celebrating the contribution our seniors make, bringing different communities together and challenging the negative stereotyping of older people. We don’t want to see anybody lonely, isolated or afraid to leave their home,” she added.
Events will be held across all areas of the city. Hundreds of people are expected to enjoy the many clubs, workshops, fitness programmes and talks on offer in community centres, libraries and leisure centres throughout Belfast. The Positive Ageing Festival aims to provide a snapshot of everything on offer in the city.
A host of organisations specialising in working with older people will be involved in the week-long event.