Local Community News


This Year’s Celebrating Age Festival promoted the richness and diversity of the Isle of Wight’s communities with over 60 events to interest residents across the Island.

With several events every day for more than a week there was so much to see and do – and there are more events to follow throughout October.

Highlights of the event, which got underway on 1st October, included Independent Arts Creative Café where, following 7 weeks of group art work, the ‘Sail Project’ came to its fulfilment. Working with art professionals and as part of the Time & Tide Project, members of Creative Café completed several paintings on sailcloth to decorate a sail from a Squib. With the Squib class celebrating 100 years during Lendy Cowes Week this year the sail depicts seaside life over 100 years including beach-huts, piers, boats and seagulls. Inspiration for the art work came from the photographs of James Dore, a well known Isle of Wight photographer, and it is planned for the sail to go on public display at the Classic Boat Museum, Cowes.

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On a warm and sunny afternoon Southern Vectis arranged a mystery tour. There was a clue to the mystery destination in the fact that the trip was on the Needles Breezer but when the Needles Park was reached there was a further mystery as to what was to follow the tea and cake. Answer – a trip on the chair-lift with its views across to the Dorset coast, The Needles and the colourful Alum Bay sands. This was a treat for some older residents who have not ventured on the chair-lift before and Southern Vectis staff enjoyed the trip too.

Independent Arts ran dance sessions at the Isle of Wight College where the college students could join with older dancers forming dance and movement groups. Some of the older dancers said how they had enjoyed not only the dancing but how the college students had welcomed them, and friendly groups had been formed across age ranges.

Singing sessions, IT information, Men in Sheds and Alzheimer Cafes as well as walks, talks and games, most of which were free or small charge, made for a full and interesting time for all those who joined in the Festival in 2018.

Report and photographs by Alan & Suzanne Whitewood

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