Monday October 10, 2016
THE GOLDIES DAY - Monday October 17th from 10am until 4pm at All Nations Centre (Sachville Avenue, Cardiff CF14 3NY) over 500 older people and school children will celebrate with a free admission day of entertainment and information about age related services in South Wales. Call 07778 282934 for more information.
A three year academic study on the work of the Golden-Oldies Charity with older people has underlined the value of social singing for those who are most at risk of loneliness in society.
The charity was launched in Bath and Bristol 10 years ago by local musician Grenville Jones. He took the original four daytime singing and activity sessions for older people in sheltered housing community rooms using the memory-evoking songs of the 50s and onwards.
Now more fondly referred to as ‘Goldies’ and with Sir Cliff Richard as Patron, the charity has grown to the point where it now reaches hundreds of older people across England and Wales.
Six years ago Goldies Cymru was launched and gained the support of Big Lottery Fund in Wales with a three year grant under their People & Places programme in 2014. Part of that funding was a research study, undertaken by Paul Marshall who is currently doing an MSc and PhD at the University of Bristol’s School for Policies Studies. Based on fact finding questionnaires, focus groups and interviews Mr Marshall has now released his 108 page research document evaluating the Goldies Cymru programme in South Wales.
The study considered the affect on those attending the sessions and also the value of the charity’s schools intergenerational programme, Time after Time, that encourages communication and engagement with schools and the older people living in their local communities.
States Paul Marshall in his conclusion;
“The Goldies Cymru programme reaches diverse urban and rural communities in South Wales, this evaluation enabled participants to have their voice and influence their daytime sessions and how the charity is run. Regular attendance directly reduces social isolation of older people in South Wales.
“The participants themselves reported responses clearly demonstrate that Goldies Cymru is engaging with participants who are most likely to be at risk of loneliness including those aged over 80 living alone, experiencing poor health with reduced mobility and cognitive or sensory impairment.
“The evidence from this evaluation suggests that Goldies Cymru is making a significant contribution to reducing the incidence and providence of social isolation and loneliness amongst the older people population.
“The schools intergenerational work also has enabled positive experiences and meaningful interactions between older people and children.”
Dr Roger Bullock is a Trustee of the Golden-Oldies Charity and a well known international speaker on the subject of Dementia research. Dr Bullock said;
“This is more evidence that you do not have to passively accept deterioration with dementia. Numerous 'lifestyle' studies are showing positive findings, suggesting that you can affect the progress of your condition by actively embracing life, keeping social contact, stimulating your brain, eating well and taking regular exercise. New medical treatments may come, but this is something everybody can do now, with or without a diagnosis. Well done Paul.”
Dr Afroditi Stathi is an Associate Professor in Physical Activity, Ageing and Health at the University of Bath. A Trustee of the Golden-Oldies Charity Dr Stathi has been closely involved with the development of Active Songs which have been introduced at Goldies sessions across England and Wales, she said;
“This evidence stresses that the barriers of having no reasons to get out and about and nothing to look forward to can be broken with the Goldies sessions. The Active Songs offer simple functional movements that you can do and benefit from while singing and having fun. The message is loud and clear: You can delay or reverse mobility limitations and maintain independence, and you can enjoy later life to the full. Loneliness in old age is not inevitable.”
The release of this study comes as the Golden-Oldies Charity in England and Wales celebrates its 10th birthday. On Wednesday November 30th a small group representing the Goldies Charity from England and Wales will travel to the Houses of Parliament where they will be hosted by constituency MPs who support the charity’s work in their local areas.
For further information see www.golden-oldies.org.uk or www.goldiescymru.org.uk
Enclosed Mr Paul Marshall’s conclusion.
Press enquiries to Paul Marshall firstname.lastname@example.org or Grenville Jones email@example.com or call 07778 282934.
About Golden-Oldies and Goldies Cymru
The Golden-Oldies registered charity was started by Bath-based choir leader Grenville Jones in 2007 who took the first 4 fun daytime singalong himself in sheltered housing community rooms. Grenville, through his leadership of many choirs in and around Bath, recognised the social benefits of singing and is always keen to emphasise that his charities growing number of groups across England and Wales are NOT choirs. However, fun sing-alongs are at the heart of all that Goldies does – reaching out to people who may be lonely or isolated.
Now in October 2016 there are 36 freelance session leaders at 148 locations across South West England, Essex, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and across South Wales as Goldies Cymru. Thousands attend and ‘Goldies’ as it is now fondly known reaches out to older people, those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and adults with learning difficulties. In recent months with the support of The Henry Smith Charity, it has developed its sessions with Afro Caribbean, South Asian and Asian elders in Gloucester, Bristol, Cardiff, Swindon and Weston-super-Mare. One of the sessions in Bristol is based on popular Bollywood tunes.
Goldies Cymru is making great progress as it extends its sessions, which includes sessions for those who are visually impaired and popular midday sessions even take place at four libraries working with Cardiff City Council.
Looking ahead to 2017, Goldies Cymru plans to develop its daytime sessions further over Mid and West Wales.
The charity also leads an award-winning schools intergenerational programme. This encourages schools to open their doors to older people in their communities. Over 100 schools have taken part and a project to be launched in 2017 will be taking the songs and heritage of the final two years of The Great War as a theme for community projects.
In partnership with the bath based hospice, Dorothy House, Goldies opened its first charity shop earlier this year in Keynsham giving it a high street presence and the opportunity for older people to volunteer and support the shop.
Goldies contact is Grenville Jones on 07778 282934