Sunday, 6 July 2008

What shall we do about our older people?

Sons of Rest branch hopes to buck trend
Saturday evening’s Express & Star Newspaper carried two stories about older people. It must have been a slow news day. Sandwell council are “consulting” with members of the Sons of Rest over the future of premises which Sandwell own. In council speak consult here means we are going to close these premises but we need to go through the motions. The story featured Wednesbury Cllr. Bill Archer who I have a lot of respect for. There’ll be a lot of weeping and wailing and hand wringing but the movement itself does not appeal to pensioners today and certainly not new retirees. I’m sure there are still some who might but the thought of spending all day playing snooker or cards just about drives me to distraction. Or perhaps Friday afternoon bingo! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. The premises are expensive to maintain and some of them need some work. Although I can empathise with the demise of the movement pensioners cannot live in the past. We have to move on.
Which brings me to the second story;-
Headline:- Day-trippers try out go-karting
Racetrack hosts own Gran Prix.
This story is about a group of ten pensioners age range 60 to 81 from Sandwells own University of the Third Age and reported on my blog “Go-Karting for seniors” on 3/6/2008
I realise this is not for everyone but the self help model of the University of the Third Age is one which many older people can relate to. As well as organising outings and strolls they also have a music appreciation group, a Latin, Italian, beginners and improvers, Literature, Criminology, local History and a Scrabble/board game group. They hold a regular monthly general meeting at Wesley Church in West Brom on the second Monday of each month new members are always welcome. U3A is the fastest growing organisation for older people in the UK. or link via my side bar
So yes mourn the passing of Sons of Rest but celebrate that older people in Sandwell are making the most of their retirement in other ways and help them. Might be nice to get a bit of help from the council but not if it comes with a price tag that means interference.
Good luck with your campaign Bill but if any member would like to seek an alternative give U3A a call. Sorry no bingo, cards, dominoes or snooker but there's so much more to do. How about starting Wii sessions? uses a lot of energy, good, can be gentle exercise as well as keeping the mind active.

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