HRH The Duchess of Cornwall urges everyone to support Silver Sunday
In support of this year’s Silver Sunday – the national day for older people – The Duchess of Cornwall has recorded a video message calling for everyone to take part and do something kind for an older relative, neighbour or friend.
Silver Sunday “is a day that offers us all the opportunity to focus on older people’s contributions to our communities and to our society. Different generations gather together across the UK to celebrate their elders and to make new friends, through a variety of fun, free activities that range from tea parties to curling to Zumba dancing. As a member of Silver Sunday’s target audience, I can honestly say that it is a completely brilliant initiative.
This year will of course be very different, with most events taking place virtually, rather than in the flesh. So Silver Sunday is more important than ever. Its aim is to tackle the blight of loneliness that affects so many, and which, very sadly, has increased significantly over the recent months of lockdown. More than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. Silver Sunday is the perfect moment to break the silence in which many live, perhaps with a telephone call to a grandparent, a card to an elderly neighbour or by hosting your very own virtual event.” – HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
Silver Sunday organisers welcome the personal statement from HRH, who is Patron of a number of charities that support older people, including the Royal Voluntary Service and The Silver Line.
Covid-19 has made Silver Sunday even more important this year. Recent research from Royal Voluntary Service shows that over 4 million (52%) over 70s in Britain worry about the pandemic more than once a day and just over 3 in 10 are unable to do any of the things they used to enjoy.
Silver Sunday is on 4th October this year. Now in its ninth year, it is a nationwide campaign supported by hundreds of organisations across the UK who offer free activities for older people suffering from loneliness and isolation to help them socialise, get active and learn something new.
This year Silver Sunday will be celebrated in different ways from previous years, with more “virtual” events and socially-distanced outdoor activities to ensure that older recipients who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 can take part safely. Plans this year include a chair dance challenge, an all-day “Dance-a-thon”, a Cantonese Opera workshop, as well as outdoor museum tours, walking groups and boat trips.
Organisations have also found other creative ways to bring Silver Sunday to those who may be shielding or fearful of leaving their homes, by delivering special parcels with items donated by local businesses. Westminster City Council will be delivering afternoon tea to 1,000 local older residents; many will also include a handwritten letter from local primary school children. Surrey-based charity ‘Painting Our World in Silver’ will be sending personalised packages with craft-based activities including afternoon tea to over 1,000 older people in the area.
Lisa Powis, Founder of Painting Our World in Silver said:
“As the founder of Painting our World in Silver, we are delighted to be supporting and helping over 1,000 seniors. We really believe our 'at home' afternoon tea goodie bag will make a difference, whether to provide an activity to distract seniors from all this uncertainty or simply a reminder that they are not alone.”
Lady Christabel Flight, Founder of Silver Sunday said:
“We are hugely grateful to HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for supporting Silver Sunday. This year, in particular, we have seen even more older people struggling with loneliness and unable to hug loved ones. But we have also seen a huge increase of people signing-up to volunteer and heart-warming stories of community spirit. I hope everyone can join us and help make an older person smile this Silver Sunday.”
Latest updates on Silver Sunday 2020 activities can be found at www.silversunday.org.uk.