Older People’s Festival: Our Hop50+ visit, photography exhibition and open afternoon
On Monday 25th September, the first day of the Brighton Older People’s Festival, FareShare Sussex took itself along to one of its member projects, the Hop50+ Centre. We wanted to see how it all works at the centre and to talk to their visitors about what we do tackling hunger and food waste.
The Hop50+ is a community space and café open seven days a week, centred around improving the health and wellbeing of its visitors. It has something for everyone with a schedule of activities for older people, from scrabble to chair yoga, talent shows to Tai Chi.
We met some brilliant characters who each had their own story to tell about why they come to the centre.
One regular Celia, spoke to us about how she started visiting the centre and why she keeps coming back.
“Just 2 weeks after my husband passed away I saw an article about Hop50 in the local paper, so I checked it out and never looked back. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I now feel part of a real community; I just come in for a good laugh and to catch up with friends.”
It was also great to see how the food we provide gets used: in the case of Hop50+, it gets turned into delicious two course meals for older people, served every day of the week.
We caught up with Senior Café Worker Harriet who was busy cooking up a feast of smoked mackerel pate, piri piri chicken and spiced apple cake for pud.
“I found out about FareShare through another project I volunteer at. Before we had FareShare food it was easy for us to just stick to the same old things, but now we are much more creative with our menus. It means we have reduced our spending on food so we can invest more into our activities. And it’s really important to be helping tackle unnecessary food waste at the same time by working with FareShare.”
While we were there we got involved with volunteer Josh’s weekly quiz session. It was hard to keep up with the regulars but we gave it our best shot!
We’d like to thank Harriet, Celia, Josh and everyone else we spoke to for welcoming us so warmly to the Hop50+. We can see why people love going there!
After a wonderful time at the centre, we headed over to Brighton Station for the launch of the REJUVE-NATION photography exhibition. The exhibition, by Maria Scard, is made up of portraits of older people in the city, celebrating their lives and amazing contributions to society. We are absolutely thrilled and proud to bits that it includes one of our fantastic volunteers, Jude.
Jude has been volunteering with us for a few years now and you can read more about her story here. She is certainly in good company in the exhibition with an inspiring group of people from all sorts of community groups across the city.
The inspiring exhibition was open to the public and ran until 8th October.
If that all wasn’t enough, we held an open afternoon the following week and enjoyed welcoming three fantastic women to look round our warehouse and learn a bit more about how to get involved.
If you’ve been inspired to volunteer with us, check out our roles and how to apply here.