These were no stay-at-home senior citizens who attended the Rye Community Centre on Conduit Hill last Saturday. They appeared to be all thoroughly active in the community in their various ways. But if they were looking for a new outlet for their interest, this was surely the place. They were welcomed by Amber Rudd MP who hosted the event.
On view were stalls manned by a whole raft of socially minded organisations. Among interest groups represented were the local National Trust, the U3A, the Rother Seniors and the WEA.
The healthcare groups included the Rye and District Dementia Alliance, the Association of Carers and a team from Healthwatch East Sussex.
A third group comprised public service providers such as the police, the East Sussex Fire Service and Stagecoach buses. Then there were the sources of legal and social advice such as Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors, the Pensions Advisory Service and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
At times there appeared to be more stall-holders than visitors. Not all the visitors were older perhaps than the stall-holders, but that is the demographic profile today of our voluntary organisations. If part of the objective was to recruit more volunteers, then this may have been counted a success.
By any standard though, the organisers are to be congratulated on presenting a virtual one-stop shop, demonstrating the wide range of help and opportunities on offer for those reaching the Third Age.
Photos: Kenneth Bird and National Trust