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Consumer Lifestyle
Published: 3 Jul 2017

Grandfest: Seniors Teach Heritage Skills


UK retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone and British charity Royal Voluntary Service have launched a festival where seniors teach heritage skills to younger people.

Taking place at McCarthy & Stone developments across the UK in June and July 2017, Grandfest aims to celebrate the abilities of older people and connect them with younger generations.

Attendees can hone a hobby at workshops led by older craftspeople, who have been selected for their expertise in a particular craft. These "grandmakers" teach a variety of skills, from woodturning and knitting, to weaving and jam making.

"The older generation undoubtedly has a wealth of talent and knowledge, and we wanted to provide a forum for sharing these skills. The masterclasses will provide the perfect opportunity for members of the local community to come along and pick up a new craft, or to brush up on their own abilities – whatever their age or level of expertise," explains Geoff Bates, head of brand and communications at McCarthy & Stone.

The festival is likely to appeal to the growing tribe of hygge-craving homebodies, who enjoy pursuits that speak to a back-to-basics theme or celebrate family traditions.

It is also set to address the issue of loneliness in later life, which remains a problem for many seniors: nearly half (49%) of over-75s in the UK live alone, while 12% of over-65s say they never spend time with their family (Age UK, 2017). Brands need to acknowledge seniors' emotional needs and adapt their offerings accordingly – see Seniors Level Up for more.

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