Project Update: by Jane Friend – our new Project Officer
To celebrate International Day of Older People, OPTiC held an event on October 1st from 2.00pm – 4.00pm, at the offices at York Blind & Partially Sighted Society (YBPSS). The event, called the Silver Stars Coffee and Cakes Afternoon, aimed to celebrate the achievements of older people, and in particular older people with a visual impairment.
The focus was very much on creating a relaxed environment in which to offer an opportunity to discuss the benefits of being an older person. 15 people joined us including one “silver star” who had recently completed a tandem sky dive (a magnificent achievement at over 90 years old!) and another who had completed a fire walk. Both had done these hair-raising events to raise money for YBPSS and shared their experiences and remarkable achievements.
Another gentleman brought his amazing pottery pictures to show people and knitting items were also on sale via YBPSS’s Knit and Natter group. Everyone who attend received a small, silver themed gift and Tracy Wilson, OPTiC Project Officer ran a silver themed tombola. The mood was upbeat, uplifting and very supportive, with lots of stories being shared. Even people who were normally shy and quiet felt able to join in.
The following are just some of the comments about being an older person that promoted discussion:-
“Not going to work is great. You have the time to do just what you want”.
“I think that you use your time more productively when you are older. Your life experience gives you the knowledge to do things without wasting time”.
“I’m not slavishly tied to housework any more. I just think, so what!”
“You have to make the best of it. You’re lucky to have reached older age”.