There’s just over one month to go until this year’s Silver Sunday – the national day to celebrate older people and help tackle loneliness – and 2019 is set to be the biggest celebration yet, with more than 1,000 exciting activities and events set to take place across the UK on and around the official day on Sunday 6th October.
We have already received huge support this year from hundreds of organisations including Open Age, Contact the Elderly, HC-One, Bupa UK, Three Mobile and the Scouts, who have launched a special Silver Sunday Scout Badge. In line with Age UK London’s campaign to make London an Age-friendly City, Silver Sunday continues to encourage and welcome a diverse range of activities for participants to choose from, including boat trips in Little Venice and cycle rides through London, to dance workshops with the English National Ballet and life-drawing classes at The Queen’s Gallery.
If you haven’t registered an event yet, but would like to host something for older people in your community, there is still plenty of time to get involved over the next few weeks.
Four weeks to go: Plan and register your event
If you are not sure what type of activity you would like to put on, you can see examples of other events and access our resources for event organisers to help you get started. It is also important to remember that events do not have to be too ambitious or complicated; smaller scale events can be just as effective. Getting people together, even just for a cup of tea, can make a huge difference to someone who may not have left the house for several weeks or months.
Alternatively, if you already organise activities for older people you could simply add a ‘Silver Sunday twist’ to your scheduled October events – so your monthly health walk in the park or weekly Sunday lunch could have a Silver Sunday theme, or you could make a special Silver Sunday cake. If you are unable to host your own event, see if anyone local is planning something and get in touch to see if you can help.
Once your plans have been confirmed, register your event on the Silver Sunday website to be added to our national Silver Sunday map. Include a short description and contact details so that people can easily find you and get in touch if they need more information.
Three weeks to go: Spread the word
Contact local volunteer groups, schools, emergency services, council representatives or local celebrities and ask them if they would like to take part. Intergenerational events work particularly well and we are always keen to get as many different groups involved as possible to make Silver Sunday a fantastic community celebration for everyone.
There are a number of ways to promote your event, but it can be particularly challenging to reach older people who may be more isolated (but who could also really benefit from coming along). Look at what is available in your area, including:
- Put up posters in local shops
- Set up an Eventbrite listing online and share on social media
- Contact other local organisations (charities, carers, care homes, churches), and ask them to help spread the word
- Reach out to local newspapers and radio stations
- Speak to your council and to see if you can be added to their newsletters or noticeboards
Two weeks to go: Send event reminders
Send a reminder to your guests that the event is coming up soon, and confirm important details (such as transport, accessibility, etc.) You may wish to send an email to them or their carers to say how much you are looking forward to welcoming them to your event. Confirm with your venue, volunteers, catering etc. too that everything is in place.
You can also encourage any older people you know or work with to find a Silver Sunday event near them by searching on our national Silver Sunday map.
One week to go: Final preparations
Print-off any posters, decorations and feedback forms you might need on the day. Do a checklist of things you need, as well as a timing plan to help the day run smoothly. It is also a good idea to check weather and transport updates, and make sure you have contingency plans in place.
On Silver Sunday: Have fun!
Silver Sunday exists to help tackle loneliness, but the day itself is all about celebrating older people and their vast contribution to society – so don’t forget to have fun, enjoy making new friends, and take lots of photos! Videos and photographs are wonderful memories to look back on, and we love sharing them on social media (use our hashtag #SilverSundayUK). This really encourages others to take part and make Silver Sunday even bigger next year!
Please do contact us anytime if you have any questions at all – we are so grateful for your support and try to help event organisers as much we can. We also might be able to provide larger events with branded materials. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @SilverSundayUK, or call us 020 7641 3609.
To find out more about how social and community participation can make London an Age-friendly City, head to the Age UK London website.