HOP celebrates the International Day of Older Persons online

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On 1 October we marked the International Day of Older Persons with our first ever online event.

Last year we hosted an event at the Museum of Liverpool in partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better and Liverpool City Council and declared ourselves #AgeProud however this year we’ve had to think different due to Covid-19.

It sounds like we’re going to have to continue to keep working differently and to find new ways to engage with each other and we’re pleased to have been able to put together an online event to mark this special date.

Carol Rogers, Director of House of Memories at National Museums Liverpool, in opening the event said: “The voluntary sector and local communities have been so imaginative during this pandemic. They’ve been doing some really great work. We hope our programme today inspires you and gives you new ideas and things to do… Today is a celebration of our older people.”

Neil Johnson, Lead Officer for Age-friendly Liverpool City Region, updated us on Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s commitment to making the Liverpool City Region the best place to age in the UK – the steering group has been meeting digitally during the pandemic. The age-friendly strategy for the Liverpool City Region covers: active travel, physical activity, lifelong learning and digital inclusion, housing and age-friendly neighbourhoods, research and innovation for an ageing society and challenging ageism

We enjoyed a presentation from Dr Virginia Tandy, Director of the newly established Creative Ageing Development Agency (CADA). The Agency will be led by older people to build alliances, secure resources, cultivate best practice and generate new narratives.

Collective Encounters’ Third Age Acting Company shared an audio piece they’d developed during the early months of lockdown, looking at themes of resilience, resistance and hope. “Stories take me away to another time and place where any worries belong to someone else”. Thanks to Tessa, Anya, Keith, June, Lynda, Margaret and Anne for sharing an entertaining and thought-provoking audio piece. It certainly made us chuckle and we’re feeling moved by the messages of hope for the future. “Sing sing sing, I love to hear the birds. Dance dance dance, if I can.”

HOP member Corinne shared a poem on Twitter in response to a creative prompt by Collective Encounters:

I hope to see the people I love

I hope to feel warmed by a hug

I hope to hear their voices so clear

Chatting to love ones I find so dear

I hope we all get together one day

It would my heart happy if we find a way.


Next up FACT‘s Digital Ambassadors talked about the ‘What If’ game they’ve been developing with artist Jack Tan. The group have worked together online during lockdown to progress the project. The game looks at the non-human laws in Liverpool and the group members have worked online during lockdown to design the game. Players will be able to take a virtual journey around Liverpool to visit places non-humans interact with humans. Digital Ambassador Dot said: “I really enjoyed thinking about things from the view of an inanimate object. It’s weird and it really makes you think!” We can’t wait to give it a go.

After a lunch break we were re-energised by a live World Dance tutorial with Sheetal from Movema and we enjoyed a series of objects and memories sessions with the House of Memories team at the Museum of Liverpool. Chris took us on a walk around The People’s Republic Gallery at the Museum of Liverpool, Michelle is showcased items from the Second World War collection and Stephen is talked about how to look after our own objects and memories.

Next up Open Eye Gallery‘s Clickmoor photography group shared an update about how their group has been working during lockdown. The weekly photography challenge has been very popular and proved a great way to stay creative at home. It allows Bill and June to go their own way as they don’t like to be put in a box! As a result of the project June now carries her camera with her everywhere. Paul said: “The project has pushed me to do things and look at things through the camera that I never thought it would.” They group have stayed connected via a Facebook group to support each other and share ideas during lockdown.

We were delighted to end on a poem and a reading by Doreen and Doris from MyClubmoor encouraging us to enjoy gardens, and to smile more.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our International Day of Older Persons celebration and to all our presenters. We hope you found the day useful and inspiring. We’ll be asking all the projects and speakers if we can host their presentations on our website and we’ll issue an update via our e-newsletter. Please contact happyolderpeople@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk to sign up.

Don’t worry if you couldn’t join us on the day. The presentations are available to view for the next seven days. Click here to catch up on our YouTube channel.

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