On Monday May 1st, Sandford Station was filled with laughter, music, flower crowns and glitter, as the residential care home was transformed into a one-day festival for ‘Mayfest’.
Wyldwood Arts teamed up with St Monica Trust, to offer a day of fun and creative activities for around 500 people including residents, their families, volunteers and locals from around Sandford Station. Rachel Adams for Wyldwood Arts said, “We had over 100 performers and facilitators from various art forms and of all different ages, and were delighted to be able to celebrate so many wonderful intergenerational relationships.” Staff at Sandford Station said they had “never seen the place so busy”, highlighting the importance of community engagement in a society where loneliness is one of the biggest threats to the happiness and wellbeing of older adults.
The festival showcased everything Wyldwood stands for- it was friendly, open, creative and joyful. A special treat was a performance of ‘Seventeen’ – a play which the residents of Monica Wills House had previously created with Made in Bristol. It included a touching moment talking about a recently deceased member of the group, Dennis, whom we had all come to know and love. He would have been over the moon to know he meant so much to so many.
It was incredible to see all ages making the most of the day. Children gathered together in the arts and crafts tent and danced around the maypole. Adults chatted whilst tasting cider and soaked up the sun while enjoying the hog roast. And the older adults got stuck in to pretty much everything, including choir singing, chocolate tasting, and even the energetic archery classes and samba drumming, proving that age doesn’t affect how old you actually feel, and shouldn’t stop anyone from joining in and having fun!
Rachel added, “Events and days like these are so important for communities, in and outside of care home settings, to bring people together and see age as just a number. So many people said that they enjoyed the day and everywhere you looked people were smiling and enjoying themselves.” Safe to say that this May Day can definitely be counted as a success.
Here’s to an even bigger celebration next year!
Note from Wyldwood Arts: Thank you to Kate for writing this lovely piece for our blog page, and to all of the wonderful performers who gave their time and talent to making Mayfest such a brilliant day for everyone involved. And of course, thank you too, to the local community for coming along and getting involved. We’re thoroughly looking forward to next year!
For the brilliant full Mayfest video by Camilla Adams, head over to our Vimeo page.
All photo credits to Barbara Evripidou, 2017.