Our Guide to York’s 50+ Festival

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September 24th, 2013
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YOPA (York Older People’s Assembly) have been gearing up eagerly awaited annual York 50+ Festival, now in its 9th year. A festival for the mind, body and soul, the nine days are fully packed with a 115 events to experience, share and enjoy. Whilst we may not recommend attempting to attend every, there is sure to be an interest for even the most picky, and an overwhelming amount for the indecisive.

Celebrating International Day of Older People on the 1st October, the festival hopes to give a new lease of life to the term ‘old’, Festival Co-ordinator Sue Lister told us just how this is done, “We know we are getting older ourselves and we know the number of older people is growing. Those are the facts – now how can we deal with “what is”? We need to change the stereotype of “old” from being aburden to being a resource for the community. We don’t need to “retire” – we can “resurge”! Older people have built up skills, knowledge, understanding and common sense over the years – these we can share with younger people, working and playing with them to the benefit of all ages.”

“Having a 50+ Festival offers everyone the opportunity to try new activities, find out what you enjoy and then take up new hobbies for the rest of the year.”

The Festival launched with the 50+ Information Fair at Guildhall this weekend, with thirty stands giving advice and knowledge in how to be healthy, wealthy and wise. And carrying on that note the main festival will begin this Saturday, giving a chance for information to become practice, with the opportunity to try out the advice previously dished.We take a look at just a portion of  what’s on offer….


The City Sport and Active leisure team have compiled a range of activities to give you a taste of what’s available in York, from the tranquil indoor bowls and 1-1 adult swimming lessons being offered by Yearsley swimming pool, to the more adventurous volleyball and belly dancing. Alongside active sessions, there’s a variety of sessions focusing on the importance of caring for your body, including spine and posture checks and workshops on the Alexander Technique. Once the physical is dealt there’s also the option to treat your body to nutritional support and learn more about herbal medicines.


This year’s festival will platform a series of invigorating talks, including a talk looking at the challenges that face Tibet in the 21st century. And in the purpose of opening the mind to new, ideas local libraries will be holding workshops for those wanting to become more techno savvy, from ‘Tackling Facebook’ to learning how to tweet at Acomb.


With both body and mind dealt with it’s time to soothe the soul. Celebrate the Healing Clinic’s 21st birthday or enjoy an evening of poetry and prose. Meditate with a session on Tai Chi, or let the anxiety fall away with a laughter workshop. And if that’s not enough there are regular sessions where you can visit the bell ringers of York and experience a tradition older than time.

With these just being a selection of the highlights from this year’s festival the full programme can be found on their website. Paper copies can also be found in libraries, community centres, city centre outlets and the Friends Meeting House in Friargate.

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