This is the 14th year the 50+ Festival has spanned the generations. Every page of the 54 page programme is brimming with events and new opportunities, some you may have heard of and enjoyed in the past and some that you can enjoy for the rest of the year.

What tickles your fancy? Singing with the Vocal Flourish Community Choir or weaving the light fantastic with Scottish Country Dancing? Fishing? Bowling? Laughing? Walking? An exploration of your digestive health? Ayurvedic Herbs? Resolving pain through the mind body connection?

What more can you find? Well there’s the series of 50+ Information Fairs with advice, info, chats, friendly consultations, refreshments and places you can get all your questions answered:

Tuesday 11 Sept. 10 am – 3 pm Spurriergate Centre (yes, it’s open for the day!) & St Sampson’s Centre

Friday 14 Sept. 10 am – 1 pm The Gateway Centre, Acomb

Sue Lister MBE, who coordinated the York 50+ Festival for 12 years, wants to focus on those who can’t easily get to any of these events – people who are ageing at home alone without the support of children. She started a monthly group, AWOC York, back in January 2016 as part of the national initiative Ageing Without Children (www.awoc.org). She has over 100 on her circulation list and a dozen or more meet regularly at the Cross Keys pub on Goodramgate on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Phone Sue on 01904 488870.

Out of Sue’s passion for the 50+ Festival, the determination to spread the word about people ageing without children nearby to lend a hand in time of need and as Artistic Director of the Real People Theatre Company, has come their 19th production, NO KIDDING? on Saturday 6th October, 2-4 pm at the Priory Street Centre. Ten scenes exploring the experience of being on your own – on Sundays and holidays, at the mercy of scammers, distraught when taken into hospital and there’s nobody at home to look after the cat, the grief of childlessness, the hidden sadness when your children have moved away, the broodiness of men who will never be fathers…and more – including tap dancing! After each scene the issue is discussed with the audience. It’s a time find ways of coping and moving on.

Sue wonders if perhaps you can call in on an elderly neighbour with a 50+ Festival programme and ask if they’d like a lift to an event that catches their eye?

“If York wants this festival to continue people need to step forward and offer to help with the programme, the displays, the publicity, phoning and the distribution. It’s a job worth doing and worth doing well,” says Sue.

The programmes are in libraries and community centres and in city centre outlets. You can find it on the YOPA (York Older People’s Assembly) website www.yorkassembly.org.uk/y1/festival and reach the team at yopa.festival@gmail.com.

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