Up Your Street has been active for a mere seven years. There is a withdrawal of interest and motivation going on amongst a chunk of its subscribed seniors and they are the ones who enrolled at its inception. This is because on the whole, in the bigger picture, there is no true engagement by hub staff or lone artists or interns masquerading as interested beings with the client market, the seniors. There are exceptions and Art For All and CreativiTEA are two of the good ones: These are honest joes who really are passionate about what they impart and are genuinely interested in their workshop participants. We seniors know that the vast majority of egoists don’t care if we turn up or not. Recently a group of seniors turned up at a function and know very well that they were there as part of the funders’ tick-sheet header “Engages with local community.”
To combat isolation seniors will know all of that and still go along. There’s always a chance of a free linen tote bag or a hot cup of tea.
We’ve had a year of ageing population and creativity and on and on it goes until those white articulate septuagenarians have all had their say. We’ve done the memory lane and moved into mindfulness to the point where we need to analyse and cuddle introspective thoughts. There is very little development or moving forward and much sucking of eggs so it’s more sensible to stay home out of the freeze and finish off the Christmas Milk Tray.
Up Your Street will have none of that and seeks out activities which could empower seniors from all parts of the six boroughs. Those that did screen=printing for free in 2011 can move faster with the ink and take home more linen bags in 2017. Those who joined in a debate for the first time can flex their tongues and be more confident the second time.
If the one step forward makes us laugh together then we will catch each other in our aged bosoms when we fall two steps backwards.