Over 700 free events and activities took place across the country on and around Silver Sunday on 1 October. Silver Sunday, the first day in October for people aged 65+ started in Westminster and is now a national annual event with hundreds of organisations and individuals hosting free events and activities across the country.

The day aims to combat loneliness by providing a packed schedule of free events for older people to try something new and meet new people. Over 1 million older people haven’t spoken to a friend, family member or neighbour for at least a month according to Age UK. Half of people aged 75 and over in the UK live alone and more than a million older people say they feel lonely.

This year was the largest Silver Sunday to date, with over 700 events across the country, and over 40 in Westminster.

Cllr Christabel Flight, Westminster’s Older People’s Champion and Founder of ‘Silver Sunday’ said:

I am absolutely delighted that Silver Sunday seems to have really taken off throughout the country. All day we were receiving Tweets from event organisers as far afield as Scotland down to Cornwall, and the pictures they sent showed everyone having a simply marvellous time. My thanks go out to all of the organisers and volunteers, and I really hope they will participate again next year, and encourage others to do so.

We all know that many older people are very isolated and lonely, and if they attend a Silver Sunday event they will see that there are many things happening which they can go to in their local area throughout the year. So Silver Sunday really highlights some of the wonderful things that are happening on a day-to-day basis.”

Joanna Lumley, a loyal supporter of Silver Sunday also said: “I attended the second ever Silver Sunday tea dance a few years ago. (I’ve since decided, incidentally, that the tea dance is my all-time favourite type of entertainment.) It welcomes old people from all over the borough, bringing them together to dance, eat cake and drink tea. No one (is) alone…they arrived in buses together, danced together and took tea together.

This year’s national activities included a boat trip along the Bristol harbourside, a walking football tournament in Worcester, afternoon tea with a Rat Pack performance at the Hippodrome, and many others besides.

For more information on how to get involved with Silver Sunday next year on Sunday 7 October 2018, contact Lucinda Hurrey at info@silversunday.org.uk or visit www.silversunday.org.uk or tel: 020 7641 3609.

If you are aged 65+ and a Westminster resident, you can apply for tickets for the Westminster Tea Dance on 10 December in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. Apply online https://www.westminster.gov.uk/tea-dance or call 020 7641 8088.