I know just now, if I was to call round to see my Dad, he’d be in. No social plans, thanks to Covid 19, but that’s about to change, because he’s lucky – he’ll be going to the pub for dinner to celebrate his friend Cath’s 80th birthday, and then there will be more meetings as the months go on. Although he was widowed 18 months ago he was already part of a dog-walking group who went out to the pub for each other’s birthdays, or just because they wanted to. In fact he was one half of the only couple in the group. It’s a little self-organising group not dissimilar to the Shared Tables project in Crossgates, suggested by members who used to enjoy going out for a pub meal but had been widowed, or lost the friends they used to eat with.
I’ll have to ring to check he will be in.
These groups can be pretty much self-organising at a local level, as they involve people paying for their own meals, and the group coming together to decide what they want to eat and where. But the key to their success is the idea of having a ‘table host’ at each table – someone who has the confidence to make sure everyone gets introduced and included every time. People might join the group because they have seen a poster, or might be introduced by a friend, but the one sure outcome seems to be that by the time you’ve had a few dinners you’ll have some new people in your social circle.
As part of Leeds Age Proud Festival, we’ll be having afternoon tea with some of the table hosts who help to run the Shared Tables and Meet and Eat activities with Moor Allerton Elderly Care and Cross Gates Good Neighbours. If you are part of an organisation or a natural social butterfly who loves getting people together, and you’d like to know more about what you might do to organise something similar, book your free place and come along. You’ll get tea, and the chance to chat to some of the people who make it happen on a regular basis, to help you decide if you want to have a go yourself.
Learning Facilitator, Time to Shine
It’s time to feel good about ageing
Leeds first Age Proud Festival takes place from 6-17 September at a range of venues across the city as well as lots of virtual events from the comfort of your own living room. We aim to showcase Leeds as a great, community focussed city with lots to offer older people. A place where people can feel involved and valued.
Find out everything about the festival, including details of all events, at www.ageproudfestivalleeds.org