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Levi Roots celebrates Black History Month with Age UK Barnet

Published on 31 October 2022 12:00 AM

Celebrity chef Levi Roots joined Age UK Barnet’s Black History Month event on Tuesday 25th October, where he came together with older people in the local area both to celebrate Black history and culture, and to support the Charity’s work to help tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people.

Levi giving his talk for Black History Month at Age UK Barnet

As part of the celebrations, Levi gave an entertaining and inspiring talk to the older people about his fond memories of growing up in Jamaica and his experiences of moving to London, including how tough it was at times. Levi is a familiar face at Age UK Barnet, having visited their men’s cookery class in 2018, showing them how to make his famous jerk chicken. Other festivities at Tuesday’s event included a lively steel pan orchestra, a cookery demonstration and taster, personal stories and experiences, and spoken word poetry. The event highlighted just how crucial it is to bring older people in local communities from all different backgrounds together, helping to make a huge difference to older people who may feel isolated and alone.

Age UK Barnet enjoying the steel pan orchestra

Levi said: “It was fantastic to be back at Age UK Barnet, celebrating Black history, culture and music, and it was an inspiring day. It’s really important that we draw on our heritage and celebrate being ourselves. Coming together for events like these is vital in helping to tackle loneliness and in helping older people to feel part of something.”

Levi signing some artwork created by Age UK Barnet for Black History Month

Loneliness is a huge issue affecting older people, and research carried out by Age UK last year found that 10% of the older Black Caribbean people the Charity spoke to, and 13% of the older Black African people, said they were often lonely[i]. When the same question is asked of the general population, 5% of older people say they are often lonely[ii]. Issues such as bereavement, ill health and mobility issues can make it harder for older people to stay connected. In addition to this, many mainstream services may not feel very welcoming and inclusive to older people from diverse backgrounds, including people from ethnic minorities, which may result in some older people feeling isolated. Group activities and events, like Age UK Barnet’s Black History Month celebration, are a great way to help older people feel supported as well as helping to reduce loneliness.

Age UK Barnet listening to the steel pan orchestra and Levi's talk

Age UK Barnet listening to Levi's talk

Joyce, who brought her dad to the event, said: “My dad has loved today, especially Levi’s talk. He started crying when Levi spoke about growing up in Jamaica, as it brought back memories of his own life in Jamaica before he came to England. It’s so important to celebrate Black history and culture.”

Age UK and the network of local Age UK charities are a vital source of support for older people when they have no one else to turn to. Any older person looking for advice or support available in their local area can contact their local Age UK, or contact the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65 or visit

Notes to editors:

Age UK is a national charity that works with a network of partners, including Age Scotland, Age Cymru, Age NI and local Age UKs across England, to help everyone make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.

In the UK, the Charity helps more than seven million older people each year by providing advice and support.  It also researches and campaigns on the issues that matter most to older people. Its work focuses on ensuring that older people: have enough money; enjoy life and feel well; receive high quality health and care; are comfortable, safe and secure at home; and feel valued and able to participate.

Age UK’s subsidiary charity, Age International, supports older people globally in over 30 developing countries by funding programmes such as vital emergency relief and healthcare and campaigning to raise awareness and change policies.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and registered company number 6825798). Charitable services are provided through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s Community Interest Company (CiC) (registered company number 1102972) which donates its net profits to Age UK (the Charity)


To view and download images please visit (photo credit Mark Field/PinPep:):

[1]Research commissioned on behalf of Age UK with a total of 501 Black and South Asian adults aged 65+ in England. Fieldwork was carried out face-to-face by Agroni Research in 6 areas (London, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham & Leicester) between 19th July – 31st August 2021. Agroni spoke with similar numbers of older people from the Indian (106), Pakistani (94), Bangladeshi (102), African (103) and Caribbean (96) communities. The figures are not nationally representative of the older BAME population in England.

[2] Age UK analysis of data from wave 11 of Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), collected 2019-2021.

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Last updated: Feb 05 2024

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