‘The volunteers instil pride in us for their generosity and good nature’
‘All the young volunteers make us so welcome – we are grateful and humble for their time spent in our company.’
(Quotes from Silver Sunday 2018 guests)
We are delighted to have the support of The Scouts in 2019 who have created a special Silver Sunday Scout Badge available on the Scout Shop encouraging Scout groups across the country to get involved in celebrating older people in the community this October. Our very first Silver Sunday Cub Scout event registration of 2019 is already on our website thanks to 1st Grayshott Scout Group.
It’s incredible to witness the impact that Silver Sunday events can have on the older people who attend them and those with children and youth groups can create a special magic. Though a shared moment of conversation over tea and cake, a crafty creation, a moment on the dance floor or a humorous exchange of stories we are told time and time again how much happiness they can bring to everyone involved. We hope your Scouts will ask to do this again and again and again.
Silver Sunday was established 8 years ago to combat the challenges around loneliness and isolation in older people. In 2018 an Age UK report stated that loneliness in over 50s is expected to increase by almost 50% in just ten years. In 2019 loneliness is much more talked about and in the public consciousness and conscience, in part due to the government’s Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign and the work of the 50+ active members of the Loneliness Action Group, led by the British Red Cross and Co-Op of which Silver Sunday also plays a small but vital part. In 2019 our partnership with the Scouts is one of the many endeavours we have pursued to encourage Silver Sunday events to be more inter-generational and inclusive. For older people interaction with younger people can be more beneficial than interaction with their own age group (Welsh Government 2019 report) in improving well-being, raising spirits and quality of life, improving mental and physical health as well as opportunities to engage with follow on activities and connections. The interaction also provides young people with opportunities to grow in confidence, self-esteem, empathy, behavioural change, social skills, communication skills as well as an increased knowledge.
How can Scout Groups get involved?
- Run a Silver Sunday event. This could be something you already have planned that welcomes older people in your community to attend or something you create just for Silver Sunday inviting older relatives, neighbours and older members of your community.
- Take an event or activity ‘on tour’ to the older people in your community. Visit a care home, offer helping hands to your neighbours, join a Seniors activity club. Whether you’re offering a performance, a party, a helping hand or friendly chatter.
- Search for an event already happening near you on our UK Map (keep coming back as most events are registered in the final weeks before Silver Sunday) and volunteer your Scouts as helpers in preparing for the day (e.g. designing posters, dressing the room), helping the event run smoothly, providing entertainment or just providing friendly smiles and chat.
- Create new community partnerships. Always wanted to hold an event in a local park, museum, activity centre or community space – or work with an organisation you’ve never approached before? Why not write to them and see if they’d like to join you in celebrating older people in your community together this October.
Visit our ideas & inspiration pages and read our one page guide for Scouts and youth groups. Silver Sunday is on the 6th October but we are happy for events to happen on the days and weeks surrounding this too. Also Silver Sunday may only be a day but the effects can be long lasting. What legacy can you create with your older community? Can it be the start of new neighbourly friendships?
How can other event hosts get involved?
If you’re already planning a Silver Sunday event and would love to invite your local Scout group to join in you can search for your local Scout group via the Scout website and contact the leaders directly. Of course there’s no obligation for them to take up the invitation but a friendly invitation is encouraged. The Scout Badges cost just £1.50 each on the Scout Shop website so we would encourage hosts to consider purchasing these for the Scouts as a way of saying thank you for their support in helping your events run so smoothly and successfully.
Thank you for helping us make Silver Sunday a success this year.