Shropshire Council

Festival of Ageing

Event details

  • Price: Free
  • Venue: Shrewsbury Town Football Club
  • Audiences: Older people, Voluntary sector

Festival of Ageing

We're delighted to invite you to our one-day Shropshire Festival of Ageing, on 15 October 2019 at Shrewsbury Town Football Club. This is an open and free event for the public, the voluntary and community sector, businesses and health and care services across the county.

A range of organisations from across Shropshire have come together to create a day to celebrate older people (but all ages are welcome), to provide information from inspirational and internationally renowned speakers about the science of ageing, and the latest thinking on what keeps us well. There will also be taster sessions of local activities for participants to try - locally available activities that we know are good for our wellbeing.

An aspiration of the day is that people feel they have been able to take part in something that interests them, from art and singing to walking football and yoga (see below for full schedule of activities). We also hope that the day increases recognition of the valuable role older people play in our communities, as well as an improved understanding about what keeps us well as we age.

There will be a ‘marketplace’ of voluntary and community sector opportunities, public services, and local community activities. People will be able to browse the market place to learn how to get involved, from partaking in local activities to volunteering and connecting with people near to home. At the marketplace, people will also be able to ask questions and learn about how health and care service are changing, and input thoughts and ideas. What can be expected from the day?

  • Ability to take part in a range of activities (see list in the programme below)
  • Learning about what's available in our communities
  • Learning about the science of ageing and what we can do to keep well
  • Ability to have your say on changes to health and care
  • Music, art, inspiration

If you or someone you know would prefer to book by telephone, please call: 0345 678 9077. This is a Shropshire Council number where your details will need to be taken to book you on to the event. This information will be stored securely on the council system, and only used for the purpose of booking you on to this event.

Sessions on offer

There will be an opportunity to take part in two workshops - one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. You will sign up for these on the day.

If you wish to join in one of our active sessions, please wear the appropriate clothing and footwear.

Boccia Bowls

Have a go at Boccia Bowls!  Boccia is a popular form of indoor bowls that is played from a seated position.  Experienced players show impressive skill but the rules are simple and it is easy for beginners to enjoy.  It is an established Paralympic sport and can be adapted for any disability. Boccia is played around the county, often as a favourite activity in senior citizens’ clubs.  This is your chance to have a go at Boccia bowls.

Books Aloud

Remember that long-ago pleasure of losing yourself in other worlds while a warm voice reads to you? Today’s your chance to recapture that unique combination of imagination and relaxation which feeds the soul. Sit back, rest for a while and sample a Books Aloud taster with Heather from Shropshire Libraries. Today’s theme is Behaving Badly.


Not tried yoga before, and keen to try? Come and join this session which will be led by a qualified instructor. Very relaxing but also good for stretching and flexibility.

Walking football

Walking football is a football session for those aged over 50, where players walk instead of run so they can still enjoy the beautiful game and participate in competitive football, but at a slower pace. Walking football offers a range of health benefits, from being actively involved in a sport providing exercise and increased fitness, to offering social opportunities as players become part of a team.

Extra Time (including hockey and circuits)

Come and join in with Extra Time! Extra Time hubs are a series of activity clubs based in Shrewsbury, where men and women over 55 can socialise and participate in a variety of activities to improve their health and wellbeing. The Extra Time hubs offer both social and physical activities which vary from week to week. These activities could be anything from sports and dancing to quizzes, bingo, and more!


Come and take part in a creative drawing workshop, led by ‘Designs in Mind.’ Anyone can join in, regardless of ability. Relax and take time out to be creative.

The Body 'n' Soul sing-a-long

A fun and easy-going way to feel good inside yourself with group singing, singing easy songs you already know. Perfect for the reluctant singer to come and be part of a harmonious whole and enjoy companionship in singing. Led by experienced community musician, storyteller and fitness instructor Sal Tonge.


Bamboozled by things such as Skype, the internet and social media? This beginner’s session will help you to keep up and impress the younger generation in your life!


Come to an enjoyable session which will help to improve your core strength and balance for everyday life, led by a qualified instructor.

Shropshire Council In Partnership With The Voluntary And Community Sector And The Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group - Organisers of Festival of Ageing 2019

Key Speakers

Dr William Bird MBE

Dr William Bird MBE is a GP passionate about getting people active. He started by setting up the first Health Walk scheme in April 1996 and then developed the Green Gym the following year. He quickly found that companionship and contact with nature were major driving forces in keeping people active. William is an advisor to WHO, Public Health England and Sport England and has been CEO of Intelligent Health for 8 years. Intelligent Health’s mission is to build active communities. He is responsible for creating Beat the Street a physical activity intervention which has had over a million participants to date with evidence of sustained behaviour change.

In 2011 he was awarded an MBE.

Professor McArdle – University of Liverpool

Professor McArdle graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool in 1988 and completed a PhD in the Department of Medicine in 1993. Anne undertook postdoctoral training at the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan and was awarded a Research into Ageing Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Fellowship in 1998 to examine the mechanisms by which the age-related failure of muscle to adapt to contractions resulted in sarcopenia. Anne was appointed as Lecturer at the University of Liverpool in 2001 and as Professor in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool in 2007. Anne is currently cross – faculty theme lead at the University of Liverpool for Ageing Resilience, bringing together basic, social and clinical scientists together with engineers and other experts to tackle the major challenges of healthy ageing.

Anne was Chair of the British Society for Research on Ageing and the British Council for Ageing. She is an active member of the American Physiological Society and the UK Physiological Society and Biochemical Society. Previously Anne was International Advisor on the Environmental & Exercise Physiology Committee of the American Physiological Society.

Anne’s research interests focus on age-related skeletal muscle dysfunction and the development of frailty. In particular, the adaptive responses in muscle during exercise and the effect of a failure of these systems during ageing and other disorders. Her work has made key observations in this area of research. Thus, Anne has considerable experience of cell and molecular biological studies at the sub-cellular level through to physiological analysis of muscle function in a number of model systems including cell culture, animal models and in humans. Her work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA), MRC, BBSRC and AgeUK.

Libby Archer - AgeUK

Libby Archer is a Senior Research Manager in the Policy and Research Department at Age UK, the national charity for older people. Age UK aims to improve later life through provision of information and advice, wellbeing services, influencing and campaigning, and research.  Libby's experience includes research funding, management of research relationships, and communication of research to non-specialist audiences.

Inspirational speakers

Jim Reynolds

Whatever your age and employed status, you have reached maturity by a process that teaches you about life; about one or more skills that you have needed simply to stay in work and able to earn enough to live.

That accumulated knowledge is too good to waste by sitting back and accepting retirement. You may have retired from work, if that is your choice, but you have not retired from life. You have time to choose what you want to do, subject to restrictions imposed by income and physical health. Age is not a dictator of lifestyle: consider what you can realistically do and opt to seek either work, if that is what you need, or a sphere where you can volunteer your skill and knowledge.

I am not qualified to tell you how to live your life. I can tell you that in my 80 years I have progressed from a hesitant youth with no parental encouragement to pursue educational or decent work opportunity, to managing a national sales force for a notable industrial company and opting for self-employment at the age of 40. A move that has seen me producing a monthly newsletter today, working as a consultant for an auction house and writing as a freelance for a national motorcycle magazine. What I would recommend to anyone of retirement age, whatever that may be, is belief that one should wear out and not sit and rust away.

George Rook

Patient activist, Chair Shropshire Dementia Action Alliance, influencer for change in healthcare and I have dementia at 63!

I have lived with dementia for probably ten years, and was diagnosed five years ago. I’m still me. I have not become someone else. I still breathe and feel. I live as I choose, not as others tell me. Brain disease is just that, a disease. It is not a death sentence, any more than any other disease. It simply affects a few of my brain’s functions. I look the same. I feel the same. I just find some things more difficult.  Live with Dementia as you choose.

Claire Cartlidge

I'm Claire Cartlidge and I was a Librarian in Shropshire for over 30 years until I retired 7 years ago. I've been a trustee of Citizens Advice Shropshire for many years, I'm currently Chairman of FIzzgigs, Ellesmere Community Arts Group and Secretary of Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative and I'm inspired by;

  • people - their lives, their thoughts, their experiences,
  • experience - seeing, hearing and taking part,
  • learning - new skills, ideas and hopefully from my own mistakes.

Interactive session leaders

Lynsey – Dru Yoga Teacher

Lynsey is a Dru yoga teacher, who runs classes locally. Her main aim is to help people build on feelings of well-being by moving, resting and appreciating the world we live in.  Drawing on her 20 years as a primary school teacher she aims to provide clear instruction in a caring environment. In her free time Lynsey enjoys eating and spending time outdoors, walking with family and her dog.


There will be a complementary bus service from Shrewsbury Railway Station and Shrewsbury Bus Station to Shrewsbury Town Football Club on the morning of the event, courtesy of Shrewsbury Dial-a-Ride.

One bus will leave the train station at 8.45am and the other at 9.30am. Return journeys will be dependent on return train times.

Refreshments & lunch

Tea & coffee will be provided, along with a light lunch.

Shrewsbury Town Football Club

Montgomery Waters Meadow, Football Ground, Oteley Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ST

More information about this venue