It has taken over 17 hours of train travel for me to be in Glasgow for the day today. Why did I do it? Was it worth it?
I live in Swansea in South Wales, we have just become part of the Age Friendly Cities network and have been selected as one of four cities to have a peer review of their arts for older people provision. This involves knowledgeable people from around the country coming for the day and asking searching questions to help you improve what you are doing.
So today was Glasgow's turn, just what they needed in the middle of their cultural programme in the run up to the commonwealth games!
But wow are they doing lots of really good things.
If you don't know about Luminate, Scotland's creative ageing festival then take a look here: www.luminatescotland.org
Your clients will really benefit.
I remember a few years ago hearing that someone had asked some hospital patients what they wanted and they replied that they wanted to be well again. Then they asked what they really, really wanted and they replied that they wanted to be in pleasant surroundings with caring staff who were competent at their jobs. Then they asked what they really, really, really wanted and they replied that they wanted to feel loved and connected to other people and for their lives to have some meaning.
Today one of the groups I met with was Art in Hospitals, here is a quote from one of their art group participants: "I wasn't allowed to do art at school because I had a German surname. I had to do sweeping up instead. I think my early paintings were terrible but the artists encouraged me to persevere... It's difficult to explain the feeling when they told me someone had bought one of my paintings at the Art Fair. It was unbelievable. I was choked up. I think it was one of the most important moments in my life."
Whoever your clients are, at whatever stage on their life's journey, can you help them have important moments that really, really, really matter?
So yes it was worth it, I met some great people and I know that when it is Swansea’s turn to have people visit and ask question it will make an enormous difference to the quality of life for older people in the city.