Advice day in Wellingborough draws the crowds

Line dancing with visitors and helpers from Sir Christopher Hatton School
Line dancing with visitors and helpers from Sir Christopher Hatton School

A special event held in Wellingborough to help older people get the most out of life proved very popular.

Later Life Matters offered the over 50s essential advice and information on a range of subjects including benefit entitlements and how to stay healthy, as well as fun sessions on getting to grips with Wii games, line dancing, painting demonstrations, and live entertainment.

The day-long event, organised by Wellingborough Council and Nene Valley Community Action, took place yesterday (October 8) at The Castle theatre.

Visitors could find out more about a variety of health-related issues and how to manage chronic conditions, as well as pick up information and have a chat with representatives from organisations including the police, the Citizens Advice Bureau, social groups and charities. Health providers also offered health checks and hearing tests.

Sylvia Smith, older people’s champion and host of the event, said: “We know that there are a lot of older people out there who don’t know what services are available to them or what benefits or grants they could be entitled to. It’s estimated that there are around 1.8 million pensioners living in poverty in the country, and yet there are billions of pounds of benefits going unclaimed.

“There’s so much help and support out there – from help with finances, to practical advice on keeping safe and healthy, to groups and social activities that can help combat loneliness and isolation, to grants that can help people adapt their homes as they age.

“We wanted to bring all these services together into one place to make it as easy as possible for older people, and those concerned about older relatives and neighbours, to get all the support they need. But we didn’t want to put on an event that meant people simply wandered around an exhibition hall picking up leaflets, so we made the day social and interactive too.”

Later Life Matters was supported by Northamptonshire County Council through its councillors’ empowerment fund.