Middlesex University hosted one of the largest celebrations of Silver Sunday in the country last weekend which launched a new Age-Friendly campaign in Barnet.
Designed to combat loneliness and isolation, Silver Sunday is a now national day in which thousands of events are held across the country with fun and free activities for older people.
More than 600 residents and 25 local organisations attended the Hendon campus in North London which was packed full of entertainment, talks and workshops, as well as health checks, advice, and information from local organisations.
Various performances and displays were held in the Quad including Bollywood dance and music from the N12 Choir along with history talks and an exhibition from Barnet Museum featuring nostalgic pictures.
"It is impossible to overplay the significance of social connection for our physical and emotional health, and how enriching events such as these can be for us as individuals and communities.” Professor Lisa Marzano.
Visitors could check their blood pressure, musculoskeletal, glucose, BMI and cholesterol and there was also a dedicated room for musical therapy which promoted its benefit with ageing and dementia.
Sunday’s event also marked the official launch of the Age-Friendly Barnet campaign led by Age UK Barnet and Barnet Council to reduce and remove barriers to ageing well in the community.
Professor Lisa Marzano, Theme Director for Equity and Improvements in Health and Wellbeing, said: “I was delighted that we could be partners and hosts to such a wonderful celebration of healthy ageing.
“The success of last Sunday’s event shows that we’re clearly off to a great start on the commitment to Age-Friendly Barnet.
“A varied programme of free activities encouraged us all to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and look to the future, whilst colleagues from our Healthy Ageing Research and Practice Group shared their knowledge and passion about the benefits of music and dance for healthy ageing in engaging and interactive ways.
“The atmosphere in the Quad was electric and really rather magical, with 600 people coming together to learn, dance, sing and, above all, connect. It is impossible to overplay the significance of social connection for our physical and emotional health, and how enriching events such as these can be for us as individuals and communities.”
Pippa Mannerings, Age-Friendly Barnet Coordinator, said: “To see how well received this event was, I believe, is testament to the support for this borough to become age-friendly.
“Age doesn’t stop you contributing to your community and it is important to showcase and support healthy ageing within our community here in Barnet.”
Staff from MDX’s Music Cognition Communication Lab, which examines psychological processes linked with music, were also present. Academics from the University also spoke about their work on a report with the Sport & Recreation Alliance, the umbrella body for national sport organisations, which highlights the health, wellbeing and social benefits of dance for the general population.
For more information on Age-Friendly Barnet project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.