Resilient OAPs - 100 of them - defy weather that closed local schools and attend Fenland Council’s Golden Age Fair
- Credit: Archant
While all around -with school closures two a penny and numerous events cancelled because of the weather - Fenland District Council stood alone in proclaiming ‘the show must go’.
This was no ordinary show – this was the Golden Age Fair at Whittlesey and targeted specifically at helping the over 60s with benefits advice, fitness tips and ideas to stay healthy.
So while down the road 1,000 students from the Sir Harry Smith academy were forced to stay at home because of the bad weather, many of their grandparents braved the cold weather to attend the Golden Age Fair at the Manor.
A council spokesman said: “We had a great turnout, with a total of 103 people visiting the fair and accessing lots of advice and support.”
Several people tried out the free sports taster sessions, with a number signing up to the Active Fenland clubs, and New Vision Fitness carried out lots of health checks.
The council’s piece of IT gear - The Fenland Ferret – looked at issues raised by five customers.
“One was identified as being eligible for £30 a week Council Tax Support and another for attendance allowance mounting to £80 a week,” said the spokesman.
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“Also, working with a Job Centre plus representative, we helped one person make a claim for Universal Credit.”
The Fenland Ferret is a computer programme that ‘ferrets out’ unclaimed benefits.
Since Golden Age has been running, the Fenland Ferret has found approximately £800,000 amount of unclaimed benefit.
The spokesman added: “It was great to see lots of people attend and shows how important the Golden Age Fairs are to our local community.
“We were really grateful for the number of partners that attended too despite the weather conditions as they all helped to make a difference.”
Since the fairs began in November 2003, there have been events in Christchurch, Coates, Friday Bridge, Doddington, Tydd St. Giles, Manea, Parson Drove, Leverington, Wimblington and Wisbech St Mary.
All have been successful and over 5000 visitors have come through the doors.
The spokesman said: “Our ground-breaking Golden Age Fairs provide help and guidance for people aged over 60 in their own villages, and are delivered with the support of over 50 partners.
“You can access a wide range of services - from benefits advice to fire safety - and it also gives you a great opportunity to meet new people.”
He added: “Many villages in Fenland are isolated with poor transport links, making it difficult for residents, the elderly in particular, to access information and services. “With the support of our many outside agencies, the fairs provide the opportunity for Fenland’s over 60’s community to lead healthier, safer and easier lives.”