The population of the UK is ageing and it is predicted that people aged 65 and up will make up 15.6% of the global population by 2050. Not only that but people are staying active for longer, with retired people doing university courses, having busy social lives and taking on voluntary work. For many, retirement is an opportunity to do something more personally fulfilling and enjoyable than the daily grind of work.
Where I live in South Manchester there are a large number of groups and activities designed for older people. The University of the Third Age have a large number of courses, workshops and groups for all interests, as well as a thriving social scene.
We also have Didsbury Good Neighbours, a charity whose aim is to support senior members of the community through a volunteer befriending service and a programme of weekly activities.
Across the UK the Women’s Institute are renowned for offering an array of special interest courses for their members, as well as a lively programme of events. It’s not just cakes and jam making!
It’s easy to think of retirement and growing older as a time when people just sit and watch TV or do some gardening. But with better healthcare and improvements in standards of living, retirement is the perfect time to take up a new hobby or pursue an interest you’ve longed to do, but not had the time to devote to it whilst you were working.
When my Grandma retired in the 1970’s there wasn’t much to do. Undeterred she set up a weekly keep fit class which still runs today. She started a craft group for her friends which eventually grew into something bigger and she went swimming several times a week. Retirement also gave her the opportunity to travel the world and eventually spend lots of time with her grandchildren. She is the model I aim to follow.
Bathing Solutions have recently launched an online campaign looking at breaking barriers for older people. To encourage people to get inspired or to learn new skills or take up a new hobby or interest.
Learning a new skill, or improving on an existing interest is something many people dream about, retirement can give you the time to be able to do that. Wherever you live there are bound to be local clubs, groups and societies which you can join, as well as local collages and groups which offer special interest courses.
You can find out more about the Breaking Barriers campaign including information on Skill Share, Community Courses and find some inspiration on the campaign page on their website.
= This is a collaborative post =