District Council celebrates work of local residents as part of International Day of Older Persons

Posted on: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Newark and Sherwood District Council wants your help to publicly celebrate the successes and stories of our older district residents and community groups.  With that in mind, the District Council is calling on our older residents and community groups to send them stories or poems about their pandemic experiences.

The pandemic has been a difficult time for all, but many people have stood up to the challenges and as a result, lots of communities have become closer together as they help those less fortunate. That’s why this year, the District Council is asking older residents in the area to submit a 200-word story or poems that reflect the positive impact the pandemic has had on them or their community group.

This idea is to promote the strength and resilience older people have shown throughout the pandemic as part of International Day of Older Persons, which takes place on Friday 1 October. The day is aimed to raise awareness of issues affecting older people but this year it has also been important to reflect back over the last two years and how the pandemic has altered our community.

There are groups all over the district which are supporting older people to get back outdoors and socialising. Groups like the Ollerton Outdoor Bowls Club and Rainworth Petanque Club have managed to stay strong through the pandemic and are always welcoming new members.

There will be top prizes for the most inspirational community group as well as individual prizes.  The winning community group will receive a £50 donation and the individual winner will receive a £25 voucher. The poem or story will also be shared on the District Council’s social media channels on International Day of Older Persons too.

To submit your poem or story please email it to entry to communityengagement@newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk or post it to Community Relations Team, Castle House, Great North Road, NG24 1BY by the Tuesday 28 September at 10am.

In the run up to the day, the District Council is working with residents at Chatham Court in Newark, a group in Bilsthorpe and a group in Hawtonville to write cards of well wishes to residents at Gladstone House. Older residents enjoy receiving letters from local people and it’s a great way to help them feel more connected with their community. These cards are being put together in the newly-built Chatham Court Community Hub which opened officially in August.

Council officers will be at Newark Market square and the corner of Forest Road in Ollerton Friday 1 October between 10am and 1pm as well so that you can find out about what is on available for people as they grow older.  There will be stalls providing information and advice on a wide range of services and support including; health and care services, voluntary group information and much more.

Tim Wendels, Chairman of Homes and Communities Committee at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “The pandemic has been difficult for us all but our older residents have been at an increased risk both mentally and physically. Despite this, there has been a huge number of older residents in the district who have shone through supporting the most vulnerable and helping to bring communities together.

“This year to celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, we’re celebrating these individuals and groups this year by sharing their stories and recognising the invaluable role they have played in our community throughout the pandemic.

“It is with a sense of pride that I look forward to reading these stories.  I am aware of so many examples where communities have become closer during the last two years and there are many more stories that remain untold.”

Dukeries U3A is an over 50s community group named after the Dukeries area which includes Sherwood Forest and the villages within it. They bring together older people to develop their interests and continue learning in a friendly and informal environment. They’ve been vital to the older community in the area ensuring residents have remained connected through the pandemic

Leslye Henstock, Chair of Dukeries U3A, said: “At first during lockdown, everything for the group stopped, but after three months we managed to teach all our members how to use zoom. This was great not only keeping them connected to our group but also keeping them connected to their families”