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The Celebrating Age Festival, whilst focusing on those over 50, always offers something for everyone and is a fantastic opportunity to try a new craft, make new friends and share experiences. In 2017 the theme of the festival was ‘Age Friendly Bristol’, and there were plenty of activities going on throughout the city in the build up the launch day on September 23rd!

Age UK Bristol held a fashion show to celebrate the diversity in our city, where local participants over 50 could showcase what ageing with style meant to them. Participants were encouraged wear their traditional dress or their favourite outfit, and we saw some fantastic clothes from different cultures to celebrating the diversity in Bristol! We were also treated this year by having two dogs from Paws for Wellbeing walking the runway too, who reduce isolation and loneliness in older people with their specially trained dogs.

Inter-generational activities have been shown to promote happiness and wellness across all ages – and we hosted a teddy bears’ picnic for older people and children (and teddy bears!) to enjoy each other’s company in the sunshine, complete with storytelling and a quiz.

The art and craft competition and our older achiever awards celebrated some of the fantastic work undertaken by older people in Bristol. As with every year, we had some inspiring nominations for older achiever awards including a 97-year-old dance teacher!

Our art and craft competition also gave people the opportunity to showcase their best work to the public, the winners were announced on the day of the festival and given out awards along with other awards, given to them by the Lord Mayor of Bristol!

We had over 60 stalls offering information and advice across a broad spectrum of organisations from Bristol. All there with the shared aim of helping the older generation by offering professional advice, health checks and massages, there really is something for everyone!

Across the day there was plenty of activities for everyone to get involved in, whether this was walking football, crochet taster sessions or even dance fit. There were plenty of new arts, crafts and activities for people to try for the first time! This year ‘Active Ageing Bristol’ launched on the same day too, and was a big part of the festival! Offering free activities throughout the day on College Green for people to try out.

Every year the Celebrating Age Festival offers something for everyone to enjoy, for free! Not only does it bring the community together, it also allows the organisations to work together and come up with new ways to help older people maintain their independence and quality of life.

At Age UK Bristol we hope to continue celebrating later life and bring together people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures again in future years!