Age of Creativity Festival – still time to get involved!

There’s still time to get involved in this year’s Age of Creativity Festival, find out more about the festival and access some resources which can be used throughout 2021.

The annual Age of Creativity Festival is running again throughout May 2021. Led by Age UK Oxfordshire in partnership with Age UK, it celebrates creativity of all kinds and encourages older people to take part and get creative! Local Age UKs and other age-friendly organisations have been encouraged to take part by listing their creative events and activities on the Festival website. You’ll find there are already 100+ creative and age-friendly activities for older people to try – both online and offline. Find out more about the festival below, including some resources to download that can be used throughout the year.

You may also want to download the document below which has been pulled together by the following local Age UKs: Bristol; Hereford and Worcestershire; Lancashire; Lindsay; Oxfordshire; Rotherham; and Shropshire, Telford, and Wrekin.

This document lists a whole host of different creative activities that are available throughout 2021 and is designed for local Age UKs to share with older people across England. All the activities listed are accessible and free and you can also check out the Age of Creativity Festival website for more opportunities if you wish. 

Running an Age of Creativity Festival Event

The team at Age UK have discovered that it can be really easy to run your own event! Last week we had an online meeting of the Age UK Services Sounding Board and we took some time at the end of the session to do some creative activities together. We made origami butterflies and did a mindfulness session together, similar to this one from Every Mind Matters:

We also shared some “Show and Tell” stories – people on the call could show us an object from their home that means a lot to them and tell us the story behind it. The stories that were shared were incredibly powerful and encouraging for everyone on the call. The whole session lasted for around an hour and was enjoyed by all involved!

We don’t have permission from the older people on the Sounding Board to share their pictures but you can see below the Age UK staff who were involved proudly displaying their butterflies!  Running the session was really straightforward but incredibly valuable for all of us. There is still time to get involved in the Age of Creativity Festival so do have a think about how you might be able to include some creativity in your work over the next couple of weeks.

For more information, please visit the Festival website: https://festival.ageofcreativity.co.uk/ 

Age UK’s Services Sounding Board proudly displaying their origami butterflies!


World Mental Health Day – resources to help you and those around you

With World Mental Health Day falling this weekend, here are some resources available to support yourself and your staff, volunteers, and older people in your community.

It’s World Mental Health Day this weekend (10th October) so we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the resources that are available to support yourself and others around you at this challenging time. 

The Quality & Transformation team is currently undertaking several strands of work to help local Age UKs maximise their resilience so they can sustain the vital work and support they provide in their local communities. One of those strands is emotional resilience – the ability to adapt to stressful situations and bend rather than break when crises hit. Building and maintaining emotional resilience can play a key part in supporting good mental health. 

The Q&T Team have reviewed and researched a range of resources which are aimed at helping you, those around you and those who support older people in your local community. 

More details and links to these resources can be found in the download below: 

Activities for staff across the Network

In addition, don’t forget that Age UK runs activities that are open to all staff, not just at Age UK but across the network. Mind are also encouraging everyone to “Do One Thing” this World Mental Health Day so why not make your one thing a promise to yourself to give one of these a try?! You never know, it might just help: 

Mindfulness sessions 

Mindfulness sessions will run every Thursday between 13:00 and 14:00 via Microsoft Teams. Join us for a moment of peace and quiet, a chance to briefly disconnect from the outside world, while focusing on the present and on the self. 

No equipment is needed, except for a computer or device that can run the Teams app and can play sound. If you’d like to join, contact Alice Sturza.

Yoga sessions

Twice weekly online yoga session with yogi Lydia. Runs every Tuesday 12:15 – 13:00 and Thursday between 08:00 and 08:45 via Zoom. Get a boost of energy and “feel-good” hormones, or a well needed stretch. You do not need special equipment and can choose to have your video turned off. The sessions cost £5 and if you’d like to participate, contact Alice Sturza.

Join us for online Yoga and Mindfulness meditation sessions!

Age UK would like to invite you and your colleagues to join our online Yoga and mindfulness meditation sessions!

Age UK would like to invite you and your colleagues to join our online Yoga and mindfulness meditation sessions! Find out more about the different sessions available below:

Yoga – Live Session with Yogi Lydia 

Date: every Monday and Wednesday 

Time: 12:00 – 13:00 

To attend: contact alice.sturza@ageuk.org.uk  

Classes run by Lydia normally cost £5 for staff to attend. Although we are not charging for these online classes, any donations to our yoga teacher are warmly appreciated. 

Choice of optional donations payable via PayPal to Lydia_89@msn.com 

Description: 

The class will include a mix of core strengthening exercises, stretches and exercises to improve posture. The class is tailored to office workers, aiming to work on the muscular imbalances people get as a by-product of sitting at a desk for long periods of time. She will provide easy & hard options on exercises to cater to the different fitness levels. 

Anyone that hasn’t joined her before but is interested in joining, can check out her work on YouTube, just type in Yogi Lacey Posture into the search bar or alternatively click here. 

If you have any questions, please email: Alice Sturza 

Mindfulness Meditation Sessions 

When: every Thursday 

Time: 13:00 – 14:00  

To attend: contact Alice Sturza 

What to expect 

Weekly 1-hour Mindfulness Meditation Sessions run via Microsoft Teams. Join us for a moment of peace and quiet, a chance to briefly disconnect from the outside world, while focusing on the present and on the self. No equipment needed, except for a computer that can run the app, and can play sound. 

What is meditation? 

Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well. 

Meditation is a skill 

Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. Think of it like exercising a muscle that you’ve never really worked out before. It takes consistent practice to get comfortable. And it’s usually easier if you have a teacher.