Needing updating at Up Your Street

  Up Your Street is unique in that it finds cheap and free events and activities for seniors around the former 6 London 2012 boroughs, now the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Gillian Lawrence, resident in Leyton for forty years, owns and manages the independent voluntary enterprise.
 
                       It is an online sharing service in that seniors are encouraged to access email, Facebook and the blog site http://www.upyourstreet.wordpress.com to share and join in events.
 
                      
                       It became an online service in March 2010 although before that it was a paper-feed which meant a lot of foot -work. In 2012 the Mayor recognised Up Your Street with a  “Service to Londoners” achievement award.
 
                       Many people were wary about the staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on their doorstep and Up Your Street set out to diminish that negativity and celebrate the rejuvenation of depressed parts of east London. During the Olympic and Paralympics site construction, many Up Your Street subscribers were encouraged to become and did qualify as volunteers for community projects for example at the Theatre Royal Stratford, with Newham Community Volunteers, and as researchers for Hackney heritage projects. Since 2012 many went on to gain qualifications in locally based arts, crafts and photography courses, film-making, and sound broadcasting as well as a two year university foundation course.
 
                   Currently Up Your Street is at the stage where subscribers feel comfortable to review projects and recommend them to others.
 
                   Since 2104 it has had community group status which means free group entry to major art and museum exhibitions.
 
                  The listings for events go out by email to over 200 subscribers every seven to ten days.
 
                  Highlights over the years include taking part in “You Me, Bum Bum Train” (interactive, immersive theatre),  a visit of 25 strong to the Alexander McQueen Exhibition for free at the Victoria and Albert Museum with a shared picnic afterwards, a free guided tour of Docklands Museum led by one of our own and a senior-led one too at the Nehru Gallery in the V&A, banner-making in Brick Lane and plastics recycling with Songalolo Feet in Hackney, and last month, being creatives in West Ham working with a Swiss artist via satellite. There have been many many great times together. Subscribers as High Street Seniors (the walking group) were invited by Clancy Docwra  Construction to tea at the works in Lea Bridge Road. And there’s a full diary of local events in the pipe-line.
                To be over 55 to join in email gillianamuir@aol.co.uk

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