This weekend it was international Older Peoples Day and weve been celebrating the efforts of hundreds of older people who take part in our projects.
From improvised dance and mosaic making to ukulele playing and hen-keeping, we see daily the contributions older people make to their communities and how they are valued.
Every week older people living in Tyne and Wear and further afield generously give their time and knowledge to support what we do.
Earlier this month residents living at Wood Green in Gateshead gave their time to help pupils at Harlow Green Primary get to grips with their hens.
Next up for the men and women in their 80s and 90s was a trip to a South Shields care setting for a creative session with people living with dementia.
Bob Davidson volunteers with our Sandtimers Ukulele group. They take their songs into care settings to lead music sessions with residents.
He said: “We play alongside people living with dementia.
“I find it hugely worthwhile. There may not be a lot of communication between us when we first go in, but then we play and sing and residents join in and they become engaged. Their faces light up and in that moment we are communicating. I knew I wanted to do something once I retired. “I like to be involved and keeping active and Equal Arts is a great way of doing both of these things while making new friends. For me volunteering helps keep me mentally and physically active and helps me to feel young.”
Set up more than 30 years ago, Equal Arts is a creative ageing charity based in Gateshead providing creative opportunities for older people to improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness.
Equal Arts co-director Douglas Hunter said: “As people age and retire from work they have an excellent opportunity to give their time to exploring their creativity and sharing their knowledge and experiences with others.
“We have a team of older people supporting our work to bring creativity to people living in care. They have a vital role, as participants but also as volunteers supporting members of their communities, young and old, to explore their creativity.
“Whether it’s supporting school children to look after hens or helping people living with dementia communicate through music and dance, we see daily the valuable contributions older people living in the North East make to their communities.”
To get involved in Equal Arts or to join our projects visit ring 0191 477 5775 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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