Learning about a Golden Age
IT seems the world is beating a path to Fenland s door to learn about the innovative Golden Age Fair concept, designed to help older people in rural communities combat isolation and deprivation. When Fenland Council hosted its eighth Golden Age Fair in Le
IT seems the world is beating a path to Fenland's door to learn about the innovative Golden Age Fair concept, designed to help older people in rural communities combat isolation and deprivation.
When Fenland Council hosted its eighth Golden Age Fair in Leverington, it generated a record turnout from local people. But among those who attended were representatives from community organisations in Peterborough and King's Lynn as well as mayor of St Ives, Councillor Deborah Reynolds.
The chairman of Wimblington Parish Council also attended to get first hand knowledge of what to expect when the Golden Age Fair comes to his village on September 18.
More than 400 older people attended the Leverington event - the result of the efforts of the Golden Age Fair team: Councillors Mac Cotterell, Cliff Edwards, Cyril Bellamy, Bernard Keane, Trevor Quince and Ken Mayor and their respective wives, who together delivered more than 4,000 leaflets to every home in the Leverington area.
The event pulled together the combined expertise of the fire service, police, Age Concern, Citizens Advice Bureau, FACT, Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, Alzheimer's Society, St John Ambulance and Help the Aged.
Representatives of Fenland Council's Fenland Ferret benefits assessment system were on hand to help people claim what they are entitled to by offering them a Benefits Healthcheck.
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The event, at Leverington Primary School, was supported by Leverington Parish Council and proved to be a huge success. More than 480 energy lightbulbs were given away to older people, representing an annual energy saving of almost £12,000. Also, almost 50 new bus passes were provided and, as a result of free blood pressure tests on the day, six people were referred to their doctor.
Apart from providing a vital support network for areas that are predominantly made up of older people, they provide local people with a social community event that is enjoyable in its own right.
Cllr Cotterell, portfolio holder with responsibility for older people, said: "This was our best Golden Age Fair so far, a huge success. It is heartening to see council and community group representatives from other areas coming along to learn about what we are doing here. The concept can be adopted by any local council. It is particularly valuable where there are isolated rural communities of older people.