How the Golden-Oldies Charity bring songs and smiles to isolated older people online

COVID Lockdown last March forced the daytime fun Singalong sessions from the Golden-Oldies Charity to stop.

From its West Country launch 13 years ago, ‘Goldies’, as it is fondly known, had grown to the point where it was running over 200 daytime sessions across England and Wales. Seventy dedicated freelance leaders led the sessions in Church Halls, community rooms and Libraries from Yorkshire to Cornwall, across England and through South Wales as Goldies Cymru.

The sessions brightened the lives of thousands of isolated older people. An academic study in February 2020 reported;

“The evaluation clearly shows that Goldies is making a significant contribution to reducing isolation and loneliness amongst the older population.”

With live daytime sessions ruled out, the Charity then went Online with weekly ‘sofa singing’ sessions delivered by leaders Rachel Parry and Cheryl Davies.

Goldies founder Grenville Jones says;

“ initially started with one session each week but over the months we have grown to the point where there are now regular sessions broadcast on YouTube and Facebook each Tuesday and Thursday at 11am with an additional monthly session in the Welsh language from Sian Francis on the first Monday of each month (starting today Monday June 28).”

The sessions also feature Steph Bosanko who leads gentle chair exercises and many of the Goldies session leaders from England and Wales also contribute with inserted videos. Sarita Sood’s Bollywood sessions have become a favourite with participants.

The sessions are supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery Community Fund and the Wales-based Moondance Foundation.

Rachel and Cheryl regularly feature special subjects for their audience and July will see the spotlight on songs focusing on families and melodies that celebrate the Summer including, of course, ‘Summer Holiday’ from the Golden-Oldies Patron himself, Sir Cliff Richard.

The Charity works closely with Public Health Wales, the Stroke Association, Dementia support groups and many Age UK groups who actively promote the sessions to their older clients.

The session are easy to access through YouTube and Facebook and the Charity is now looking ahead in the hope that one day soon it will be able to recommence its daytime live sessions.

However, the sessions will also continue through to Spring 2022.