AN ENGAGING time was had by those aged 50 plus in the district.
The first Engage 50+ Festival was hailed a success by founder Sophie Mansfield as the curtain came down on nine days of events and activities for Stratford’s second-half-of-lifers.
The festival, attended by around 1,000 people, featured local voluntary groups, charities, associations and clubs, and gave participants the chance to take part in musical workshops, learn about beekeeping, try their hand at archery, and even embrace
laughter yoga. The festival concluded with a barn dance in Great Alne and a grand tea party at Stratford Town Hall.
There was also plenty of practical advice on everything from how to set up Power of Attorney to Care Entitlement, free health checks and tips on how to access key services for the over-50s.
Sophie said: “We couldn’t have asked for a more successful festival, from the volume of exhibitors and clubs taking part to the brilliant turnout of people wanting to get involved, to try new things and to make new friends.
“The whole purpose of the Engage 50+ Festival is to reach out to older people and to help enrich their lives, find new hobbies and friends and to inspire them to get involved in all the wonderful things going on in Stratford, but that can sometimes be hard to find out about.
“We certainly did that and the feedback we have had has been great – from those who attended and those who were involved in staging the events.
“So many of our exhibitors have reported new members, new volunteers and new friendships.”
Sophie and her volunteer co-organisers are planning to stage the next Engage Festival in 2020.
The festival received support from Stratford Town Trust, the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All and Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme among others.
Visit www.engagefestival.org.uk for more information.