Calling on Bath to help Golden-Oldies in National Lottery phone poll
The people of Bath are being called on to pick up the phone to help a city charity win a National Lottery competition which will be the passport to lucrative national TV exposure.
Victory in the phone poll for the National Lottery Awards which starts today would go a long way to giving the Golden-Oldies singing project a secure future.
The charity, which cheers up the lives of older people with singing sessions in community halls and is known as the Goldies, is one of three finalists in the educational category of the awards with its Jubilee Time After Time initiative.
This brings together members of Goldies groups and schoolchildren in activities to bridge the generation gap, and celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a specially-written song and a singing weekend earlier this year.
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Conductor Grenville Jones, who launched Goldies five years ago, said the £2,000 prize money would help pump-prime an expansion of Time After Time.
He said: “Because of the success of Jubilee Time After Time, we would obviously like to continue with a similar project in 2013, engaging schools across the west of England and South Wales.
“This will require considerable additional funding and the £2,000 would go into starting this process in the hope that we would find other sources of revenue.”
Goldies now runs sessions across the region, with financial backing from social landlord Curo, St John’s Hospital, the Roper Family Charitable Trust and Wessex Water. In Bath, there are groups at Whiteway, Combe Down, Bathampton, Larkhall, Weston, the city centre, Bathwick and Twerton.
There are also sessions in Peasedown St John, Keynsham and Timsbury and the charity hopes to start more sessions in rural areas next year, as well as expanding into Wales.
Session leader Jacqui Cook from Timsbury, who has led groups for four years, said the charity was making a real difference.
“It’s wonderful to see people who can be quite confused connecting with the songs we are singing. Their toes start to tap, eyes brighten and they start to sing out the words, in recognition of a past when life for them was probably a lot happier.
“Each group is different, but they all have a sense of belonging and each person forms new friendships and they begin to care for one another.”
Raymond Friel, head teacher of St Gregory’s Catholic College, which has been at the centre of Jubilee Time After Time, said: “Nowadays older people often struggle to understand younger age groups. Jubilee Time After Time seeks to tackle those fears and open up the channels of communication between the two generations. By getting through to the finals of the National Lottery Awards, we are one step closer to shutting down those prejudices for good. Winning this award would show all of us that our hard work and results have been recognised.”
The charity - whose patron is Sir Cliff Richard - has had its work endorsed by an independent study by academics at the University of Bath.
Voting for the award runs until October 28.
To back Jubilee Time after Time, call 0844 836 9685 from 9am today or go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards.