Richmond Borough locals show that 80 is the new 40

A group of around 1,200 elderly residents gathered at Twickenham Stadium on Friday for the annual ‘Full of Life Fair’.

The event which is now in its fifth year is a celebration of the “huge contribution older residents make to the borough” said councillor Piers Allen.

There were over 55s aplenty the Rose Suite, sheltered from the heavy rain and taking part in activities such as zumba, creative writing, dancing and yoga.

Local organisations and services were also there providing useful advice and information about health, social care and fitness.

One of the charities found at the fair was Age UK Richmond, who are one of the more general organisations and offer a ‘holistic approach’ including IT and cooking skills.

Operating only in the borough, they receive far less funding than the national charity which “can sometimes make it difficult” according to marketing coordinator Stephanie Mackenzie.

“As we operate locally, we have far less of a budget than the national charity and often people will try to donate to us but actually donate to the main charity instead,” she said.

Tara-Teeling Charles, who has been a zumba instructor for eight years, stressed the importance of older people taking part in physical activities.

“This event is fantastic because there is an aim to the day, and everyone is coming together”

“Older people can often live in solidarity so keeping fit is important not just physical but also for social purpose.”

Groups such as Richmond Ramblers, who offer long country walks and Isleworth Green Gym, who focus on conservation, show that even those of older ages are doing their bit for the environment.

“We’ve even had people in their 90s on our walks” said David Low of Richmond Ramblers.

“We’ve been lobbying and putting pressure on the government to preserve some iconic walking routes like the London loop.”

Whether they were taking part in tango dancing or playing the ukulele, Richmond borough residents showed that it is the best time ever to be over the age of 55 at this year’s Full of Life Fair.

This year, for the first time ever, the programme is being extended through a number of new mini fairs being introduced around the borough.

There are two more mini fairs taking place in Richmond and Barnes on the 10-11th October.

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