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Seniorforce Days in Estonia and The Netherlands to highlight the importance of volunteering at an old age

Seniorforce Days in Estonia and The Netherlands to highlight the importance of volunteering at an old age

The Seniorforce Day in Estonia took place on October 5 at the Senior Festival in Tallinn, a two-day event which this year received more than 3,400 visitors. The festival was inaugurated by the Minister of Social Affairs, Hanno Pevkur, who invited citizens to “enjoy this great venture, which is also a part of active ageing”.

At the opening ceremony in the Salme Cultural Centre, Eha Topolev, from the Inkotuba NGO, handed the "Years full of brilliance and dignity" awards to outstanding ageing-related projects and elderly citizens from all over Estonia. The competition aims to highlight and recognize those activities and initiatives that have changed the lives of the elderly and make them brighter, and Ms Topolev highlighted during the awards ceremony the importance of senior volunteering in order to make many of these projects become a reality.

Many other activities took place during the weekend at the festival, all of them focused on what seniors can do on a daily basis to enhance their well-being.

The Seniorforce Day, an event promoted by the European Commission in the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations to encourage senior volunteering, was also celebrated on Friday October 5 in The Netherlands, with a series of activities in the city of Haarlem.

The Schalkweide old people’s home in Haarlem hosted the first activity, which involved a meeting of 31 local senior volunteers who received a list of wishes from other elderly citizens, such as trips to the beach, visits to the theatre and music performances. The local senior volunteers will help to make these wishes come true.

The Seniorforce Day also included the visit of volunteers to the Boerhaave Verpleeghuis care centre, where there was also a cheerful piano concert for a group of old citizens who suffer from physical disabilities. A gardening session then continued with the presence of Jack Van der Hoek, Vice Mayor of Haarlem, who stressed the importance of volunteering as a way to help the elderly, but also as a way to keep them more active. The Municipality, for instance, funds the local volunteering association Buuv, which encourages locals to share their skills and knowledge with their fellow citizens.

Other activities included in the programme were a bridal fashion show involving several generations of women and a folk performance by a group of elderly. The Day concluded with a Spanish tapas lunch where all the local volunteers and organisers were thanked for their contribution towards the community