'What's all this about then?', 'well that's just for the young 'uns isn't it?' and 'ooh, do you?' seemed to be the mantra of the day at the Carers Information Event at The Forum today.
Sandwiched between Arthritis Care and the Norfolk Community Health & Care Volunteer Programme it was easy for us to look like maybe we had rocked up at the wrong event!
Of course, that wasn't the case and we soon found plenty to talk about with the visitors that perused the stands. The invaluable practical advice on offer for those in a caring role, or receiving care, merged seamlessly into organisations more concerned with well-being - and our over 50s dance classes, wheelchair dance and SEND provision were soon hot topics of conversation. Discussion turned to the benefits of the arts for social interaction, physical activity and nostalgia, with everyone we spoke to walking away with a smile on their face - even if they weren’t quite ready to don their dancing shoes.
There’s something quite satisfying about changing people's perceptions, and letting them know that there is something at The Garage for them, no matter their age, experience or ability. Coming to events like this is always a reminder that we need to find new ways to promote what we do to people who don’t know what they don’t know - like taking classes to day care centres and persuading health care services to think creatively about preventative and recovery methods.
These events also remind me that there is nothing more attractive than a free pen.
Quote of the day came courtesy of Iris Wellbeing, who came over to see what we had on offer; 'Even if you can't dance, music takes the soul to another place'.
Toni Bentley - Learning and Inclusion Director at The Garage