Lets Get Back Together week was created to help Islington residents come back together, make new connections and find new venues to attend socially in Islington. All week long Age UK Islington put on free events which were hosted by partner arts and community organisations across Islington.
The theme of getting back together continues across the work of Age UK Islington and Islington Carers Hub. Our staff are increasingly based in venues around the borough, with many seeing people in GP surgeries and with information & advice appointments being available not just from our office in the north of Islington (Manor Gardens, N7), but also at St Luke’s Community Centre, EC1V in the south of the borough. We’re also continuing to expand our range of in-person Get Togethers.
273 people came together for Let’s Get Back Together week, for chats, delicious buffets and to spend time together with others in the community. This week of events followed Loneliness Awareness Week, a campaign to combat loneliness.
Monday: Cookery Demonstration. Age UK Islington adults were invited to watch a healthy cookery demonstration led by Cook For Good’s chef and afterwards got to enjoy the produce, a tomato lentil soup and bread that was made. This event helped highlight how a few inexpensive ingredients can be transformed into a simple, tasty meal. One attendee said “Following recipes can be difficult, but seeing and trying the food reminds me that I can do it!”
Tuesday: Bunting Workshop. The community spirit was lifted through a guided session on creating “no-sew” bunting at the Museum of London. Creativity was flowing between both sessions, which also included animated conversation, tea, pastries and lunch. One Age UK Islington client that attended talked about the event saying “It was a lot of fun making the bunting. Also, a big thank you for the lovely lunch provided.”
Wednesday: Dame Esther’s 82nd Birthday Party. This special edition of ‘Let’s Talk Peer Event’ brought together Islington adults to celebrate Dame Esther who attended via zoom. There was lively discussion and party food that lifted everyone’s spirits at St. Luke’s Community Centre. Dr Lucy Pollock, NHS Consultant Geriatrician and author of The Book About Getting Older also gave a talk and said, “I’ve been so excited to meet Dame Esther Rantzen, one of my heroes since childhood. She’s kind, funny passionate and humane and shows us how being with other people can brighten our lives. I warmly encourage people to take Dame Esther’s advice, contact Shamin Noronha and join the ‘Let’s Talk Peer Events’! See photos and read more about this event here.
Wednesday: Windrush Day Celebration. More than fifty Islington residents took part in our Windrush Day Celebration that we organized together with Islington Council, Prospex, People’s Company and Art in the Park. Clients joined a special edition of our weekly reminiscence session (usually at Cally Clock Tower) that took place under a shaded area of Cally Park followed by a Caribbean inspired picnic. Everyone shared personal stories including…Gertrude who arrived in Islington in ’57 from Grenada who shared stories about queuing for half a mile every day to get work at the Leather Exchange before she went on to train as a nurse, Lorna whose father met her mother in Jamaica and worked as builder after the war and Ellie, who came across from Trinidad in ’57 who trained as a nurse and has met Prince Charles twice! See photos and read more about this event here.
Thursday: Arsenal Stadium Tour and Activities. Islington residents gathered together to take part in a walking tour around Arsenal Stadium. After the tour, everyone chatted over tea and lunch and was able to take part in a variety of activities such as indoor bowling and chair-based Pilates led by The Peel Institute. One attendee said “I enjoyed the tour very much. I couldn’t describe with simple words therefore like to say again ‘thank you all’… it gave me something to think about for the rest of my life”.
Friday: Chair-based Yoga & Lunch. Age UK Islington adults were invited to work up an appetite at Brickworks Community Centre doing gentle chair-based yoga. Once yoga was completed, everyone was able to sit down for lunch, share experiences about the day and other activities that they enjoy attending for those who were new. There was lots of positive feedback from the chair-based exercise. One attendee said “It totally surprised me! It was better than the gym which I can’t go to. I saw the potential to move every part of me in the wheelchair. Today I did 2% of what I could potentially do if I did this every week. I immediately saw the benefit. Janelle the instructor was the catalyst for my change; her energy, her vibrant zest for life flowed through the entire session and inspired me so much.”
Let’s Get Back Together Week followed Loneliness Awareness Week (13-17 June). Loneliness can affect anyone at any time and it is not always easy to make new connections – low mood, mobility issues, health conditions, caring responsibilities, lack of money can all get in the way of finding a social network, as can simply being out of habit of meeting up with people. Thank you to everyone that was able to join us.
For more upcoming social opportunities, in-person and online, see the Age UK Islington Get Togethers page here. If you need help finding social opportunities that are right for you and your personal circumstances, get in touch with the Age UK Islington helpline on 020 7281 6018 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Age UK Islington helpline is the key way to access support from our service. If you’re struggling with money or getting out and about, managing your home, a health condition or anything that’s getting you down, do give us a call. We can provide information & advice and carefully connect you to further support. This could be phone or via an in-person appointment(s).