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Record turnout for the latest Golden Age Fair

There was a record turnout for last week's Golden Age Fair, with 175 people packing Wisbech St Mary's community centre for the event.

Golden Age Fair - Wisbech St Mary - Nov 23 2016

It brought together 27 organisations that provide services for older people and featured a free electric blanket exchange, an hour-long performance by Sean 'Banjo Man' Moyses and a healthy cooking demonstration.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, Fenland District Council's Cabinet member responsible for Golden Age, said: "The record numbers who came along highlights the value of the work that Golden Age does in the community. - something that's even more important now, given the current acute pressures on social care and the rising number of elderly people.

"Events like this play a vital role, providing a one-stop shop that brings a huge range of services together and makes them easily accessible to people who might otherwise not even know they are available.

"All the partner organisations benefit, too: they welcome the opportunity to meet and learn from each other and make the appropriate referrals.

"Nor should we underestimate the social benefits. People who come along to these events make new friends and that can make a real difference to the lives of older people, so many of whom suffer from loneliness and isolation."

Among the organisations attending was the Macular Society, one of Golden Age's new partners. It supports people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world.

Golden Age - Macular Society Colin Daniels, the society's regional manager, was accompanied by his guide dog Finch. He said: "It was the first Golden Age fair we've attended and we found it really useful. These sort of events hit exactly the right sort of people for us - those aged 55-plus, which is when macular degeneration usually sets in."

Volunteers from the Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service replaced 10 old electric blankets with new ones, as well as making a number of referrals for home safety and wellness checks.

The healthy cooking demonstration was laid on by Everyone Health, who rustled up an appetising stir fry.

Blood pressure checks, health MOTs and  chair-based exercises were carried out by staff from the council's New Vision Fitness team, while Active Fenland also offered free taster sessions of Boccia, a bowls-type game designed for people with severe physical disabilities.

Article added November 28, 2016