It’s all about building communities.

It’s always a bonus when a free picnic, pizza or a  cup of tea is given generously by interns and volunreers to seniors who attend a seniors’ project or an arranged tour for seniors. It’s not necessarily the case that seniors are desperate for the food. Having a cuppa is a full stop after a walk or an inspiring  session. No the tea is a ploy to build communities. Getting a crowd of seniors together sharing a beverage is a success because people have come out and joined in. A community is built.

The Claremont Project in White Cross Street successfully builds its community. It is mainly a community of women aged 70 years and more, and in the main, they are indigenous White British women. The supporting attendees at St Luke’s lunchtime concerts could well be the same women at Claremont. For the last ten years that St Luke’s audience has not been representative of London’s multi-cultural community. For the last six years I have sat next to mostly curly white perms at the Claremont Project. Today there was an audience of sixty for a rousing African drumming entertainment at Claremont. Once again the audience was very old, white and womanly.

And so what?

A mug of tea and a cake cost a mere 20p. Everyone there could have paid £1 and the organisers know that. But the profitting on value tea bags is not the aim: The aim is to gather people, keep them informed, allow them some joy and let thrive a community whatever its composition . All success to the Claremont Project and its open doors. You’ll hardly see adverts but now you know it’s there.

In the morning I was with the Buildings Exploratory Group for seniors which was introduced to Claremont before Christmas 2012. We had reserved seats at St Luke’s to watch a lunchtime concert and a reserved table in the Crypt Café.  Our guide Phillip showed us interesting features about the old old church which is now a music education venue about to celebrate its tenth year, as well as being the rehearsal room for the LSO.

Yep, all good.


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