It started with a tea dance and within a few short years it has turned into a national campaign to tackle the blight of loneliness that affects so many older people. Silver Sunday is a day in the national calendar, the first Sunday in October, when we ask the nation to pause and think about older people and celebrate their contribution to society.
Silver Sunday is a powerful vehicle to draw attention to the problem of loneliness amongst older people. Celebrating the contribution of older people to society, also increases their happiness and well-being and presents an opportunity to bring generations together.
This year Silver Sunday takes place on 1 October 2017 and we have people queuing up to put on free events for older people. We are so grateful to local authorities, communities, private, voluntary and public organisations and individuals across the country who put on these events or simply write a card or deliver a cake. Past events have included zumba classes, curling, cricket, ballet, Silver circuit training, martial arts, Tai Chi and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Details can be found at www.silversunday.org.uk.
Silver Sunday started in Westminster in 2012 and since then has gained widespread support. The aim is to turn it into a national day matching Mothering Sunday and Fathers’ Day, establishing it in the national consciousness as a day when we think about older people and help them. With the support of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, Silver Sunday has grown to the point where last year over 600 events were held nationwide – from the south of England to Glasgow and all the way to Northern Ireland – and more than 4,000 people attended one.
We want to make a step change in the number of activities, making Silver Sunday truly national. Our strategy sets out the following objectives:
- To reach isolated, vulnerable older people through activities and events which celebrate the contribution of older people and help connect them with other people and services
- To use Silver Sunday to increase the awareness of elderly isolation and celebrate the contribution of older people
- To make Silver Sunday inter-generational, targeting the involvement of schools and youth movements
- To develop a partnership model across the country where charities, local authorities and businesses work together to support communities.
- To establish Silver Sunday as a national day on a par with Father’s Day and Mothering Sunday.