Residents celebrated as part of International Day of Older Persons

Posted on: Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Our older residents were this week celebrated by Newark and Sherwood District Council as they organised a whole host of activities to recognise International Day of Older Persons.

The day, which this year fell on Friday 1 October, aims at raising awareness of issues affecting older people.  However during this year’s event, it was more important to reflect back over the last two years and how the pandemic has altered our community.

The pandemic has been a difficult time for all, but many older residents have stood up to the challenges and as a result, lots of communities have come closer together as they help those less fortunate.

To celebrate this the District Council asked older residents in the area to submit a 200-word story or poem that reflect the positive impact the pandemic has had on them or their community group.

These stories and poems were judged by Housing Officers at the District Council and the winner of the individual competition was Tricia Jarvis, her winning story can be found below:

I have spent some wonderful quality time with my partner, eating outside on the patio under the parasol imagining we were somewhere exotic, having coffee whilst gently rocking on the garden swing.  I watched the red arrows flying over my little bungalow giving me a salute.  At my age I’ve made lots of friends who keep in touch with me, so every day I’ve had the time to read and answer emails, texts and to make and receive phone calls. 

Having unlimited calls on my mobile means that we can talk for over an hour, so my mouth is getting plenty of exercise. I have two lovely sons and three granddaughters who I’ve seen lots of over FaceTime.  Every day I’m told I’m loved so how rich am I, not in money but in the love of my family and friends.  I just wish that I hadn’t eaten so much chocolate.

The winner of the group competition was Newark Dementia Carers, their winning story can be found below:

The Newark Dementia Carers stayed very active during the pandemic supporting both Carers and the Cared for. We offered support on the telephone, anytime you needed it and in person standing in member’s gardens for a chat. For our members, just seeing another person in the flesh was all they needed to keep going during difficult times.

When restrictions lifted we met outside and went on walks together in groups of 6, encouraging each other to keep smiling and stay strong.

We delivered hampers and Christmas gifts to our members, helping them to stand up to adversity and make the best of every day.

The pandemic was just another challenge faced by families dealing with Dementia and we flourished, always being there for one another, depending on one another, surviving the isolation and loneliness to come out the other side as a strong family group.

We are now meeting face to face again and our members value us more than ever, we are making the most of the life we have and have lots of new members. In the future we have lots of plans for trips and celebrations. We are the generation that always bounce back.

In the run up to the day, the District Council also worked with residents at Chatham Court in Newark, a group in Bilsthorpe and a group in Hawtonville to write cards of well wishes to residents at Gladstone House and Broadleaves, the District Council owned extra care developments. These cards were created in the newly-built Chatham Court Community Hub which opened officially in August. The cards proved a great success and residents were over the moon by the cards and gifts received.

Councillor Tim Wendels, Chairman of the Homes and Communities Committee at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “The pandemic has been difficult for us all but our older residents have been at an increased risk both mentally and physically. Despite this, there has been a huge number of older residents in the district who have shone through supporting the most vulnerable and helping to bring communities together.

“This year to celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, we highlighted these individuals and groups by sharing their stories and recognising the invaluable role they have played in our community throughout the pandemic.

“It’s also been great to see the smiles on older resident’s faces at Broadleaves and Gladstone House when they received the cards of well wishes from other residents. It’s important that the younger and older generations in the town are engaging with each other like this and it’s a great thing to see.”

The District Council also shared some of the stories of the pandemic from local community groups on their social media channels. This included stories received from Dukeries U3A and Rainworth Petanque Club who, like many others, went above and beyond to support their local communities, during the pandemic.