The Bridgit Team are supporting this event hosted by the Older People’s Partnership of Hull and East Riding (OPP).
It is a week long celebration of older people running from the 28th September to the 2nd October 2020 with a number of events taking place online this year as we shall not be beaten by Covid.
We sat down and spoke with one of the OPP Trustees, Matthew Wright to discuss what the event is about, what it is trying to achieve in light of the struggles brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the elderly communities and their loved ones.
It was a pleasure to speak with Matt so please give it a listen below.
So we are here with Matthew Wright of the Older People’s Partnership, just doing a quick interview with regards to the upcoming event on the 28th of September.
So Matthew do you want to introduce yourself? that would be great.
I’m Matt Wright I’m one of the trustees of the Older People’s Partnership Hull and East Riding.
Fantastic, and what exactly is the older people’s partnership?
The Older People’s Partnership Hull and East Riding is a charity which acts as an umbrella organisation to represent the views of older people and to bring together orgnisations who provide services for older people.
It brings together the really really small organisations like the freedom stroke club who support a small number of individuals in Hull all the way to the national organisations like the stroke association and it also link to the statutory partners such as clinical commissioning groups, the local authority, police and we tries to bring together the organisations in collaboration to provide better services for older people and give older people a voice.
So how did it all come about then?
The Older People’s Partnership came about from a piece of work which understood that al l these organisations were undertaking fantastic work but actually you can deliver a lot more in partnership so in about 2015, it was before my time, they started looking at how you could bring these groups together in formal meeting and over time the benefits of that informal meeting showed that actually there would be real value in bringing it together as a charity which would allow us to apply for funding but also give us an umbrella brand to organise events and activities across the city of Hull and also the outskirt villages which border the city.
Fantastic, that’s great.
Amazing stuff that you are doing there with the Older People’s Partnership.
So we’ve spoken before, I think we spoke 2 or 3 weeks ago in relation to the event you are running on the 28th.
So with regards to that event I mean funnily enough it coincides with the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons as well which is actually running on the 1st October, which again celebrates the older generation and older persons around the world.
So, this event that you are actually running when did this event itself start and how did that come about?
It all came about because of the partnerships of all those organisations so I think the first little event took place probably in 2016 I believe and each year its got bigger and bigger.
Last year the older peoples partnership ran four events, two took place at the Guild Hall (Hull) and a further two events took place in the East Riding. One at the Cottingham Civic Hall and one at the Hedon Community Hall. The value of those events is to bring all those organisations that serve the local populous together to have a almost marketplace where they can talk to older people about the services they offer but then at the same time having space for performances to take place.
Opportunities to see what is available to entertain, what’s available to educate, what’s available to keep yourselves safe and then the other part of it it is we also have a Hull and East Riding’s got talent event where we brought together older people to almost do an X-factor style event where a panel of judges judge on the performances.
With Covid as it is, clearly we weren’t ever going to be able to organise events which were attracting of over 2000 people which last years did so we thought well we can either cancel it and do nothing or we can be brave and we can build on the confidence we have had when speaking to lots of older people that they are using online channels like Twitter and Facebook and Zoom and say do you know what, we are going to hold the event, we are going to hold interactive conferences for older people to sign up to on Zoom or teams but then we’re also going to share lots of content so having a virtual marketplace so people can see what is going on and also share entertainment going on as well but at the same time also asking older people to share some of their talents and doing a bit of showcasing.
It wont be the traditional X-factor style event but it will give people the opportunity to have something to enjoy while coming to terms with the fact that actually it’s been a really rubbish year and that their are still services out there, there’s stuff that is still going on and something to really excite people and entertain them.
So you mentioned a number of different channels that you are going to use to actually be online to actually host and have the event happen this year especially with the pressures from what is happening with Covid.
What’s the best way that they can come and attend the actual event?
Is there a central place they can go to visit first or throughout the day they can go to different places?
Well the main place I would suggest people go to if they wanted to get involved and understand what is going on in terms of the local partners who are out there and enjoy some of the entertainment would be to go to the Older People’s Partnership Hull and East Riding Facebook page.
All the content will be shared on there.
What is a little bit different is that we are also holding specific interactive events and those interactive events are advertised on the Older People’s Partnership Hull and East Riding Eventbrite page so between the 28th of September and the 2nd of October.
We have got a range of activities which are taking place, everything from doing seated Yoga and seated dance to learning how to do genealogy, to taking part in wet felting and then also the things which are a little bit more about keeping yourself safe so scam prevention or crime prevention and then also health preventative work so stuff around strokes, mental health and wellbeing.
There is a quite a wide program of activities that people can sign up for on the Eventbrite page and I would encourage people to sign up for that as soon as possible.
There are places available on numerous of the courses so I would expect that there is something there for anybody and encourage everyone to go on the Eventbrite page, check out the description, signup and you’ll get sent joining instructions direct to your email and then you can take part there.
We are also going to have some live performances on the 1st of October which is the International Older Persons Day as you rightly say and on there we will have singing, quizzes, we’ll also have live performances from Memphis Pete who is an Elvis singer.
We are also hoping to have some really really good pre-recorded content from bands, choirs, opera and really there is a mix of things that people can interact with and if people out there are interested in the great outdoors, wildlife we have quite a few videos from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who have been a amazing and offered to do an interactive workshop of a virtual rock pooling. If we have got people there who haven’t had chance to go to the seaside in a while and haven’t had that chance to look at the ecosystem which is a rock pool, having somebody there to talk you through the rockpool is a great chance to get that opportunity to leave the house without leaving the house.
Fantastic, so its really a very interactive week which is great.
So basically you said that people can go to the Eventbrite page for the Older People’s Partnership and then from there they will have the list of the different events going on throughout the week and then they can click the link on there, signup on there.
I’m assuming the events are all free? or are there some to pay for?
Every single event is free they are all free. As I say the joining instructions will be sent to those people that register, either the day before if not slightly earlier. I know with my colleague who is also a volunteer Trustee has been sending out some of the links for Monday already but its not too late to signup and I would encourage people to sign up as soon as possible and really enjoy it.
Great. So for those people that may be partnering with the event or those that are watching this video and if they would like to actually share this where could they share the event, the interview itself and show support really?
I would encourage people to share it far and wide I would encourage people to think about their own family. I know that I’ve got a mum who’s 70, she lives by herself so certainly I’ve been promoting it with her. So I’ve been speaking with neighbours next door who are a little older saying “do you know what there’s a great opportunity here”. There’s the telling people you love that there is something that they can interact with is the first plea I would ask of people.
The second plea is if they have a means of sharing information go on the Facebook page for the Older People’s Partnership and share it on their Facebook pages and in other peoples groups if they are on LinkedIn share the details which you can get from our website or Twitter Page and lets spread it far and wide because I want as many people to interact with this program of events as possible, so many events are being cancelled which don’t necessarily need to.
I have got confidence in a lot of people who are older out there are able to use this online technology and what to use this technology. It’s lets get this information to them and make sure that as many people can enjoy it as much as possible.
Fantastic. We’ll be supporting it from the Bridgit and Upstream Team here.
Thank you very much for your time Matt, Matthew and we will be in touch and see you all there.
Yeah, brilliant, Thank you.