MP Alan Mak encourages residents to attend Older Persons Information Fair

Havant MP Alan Mak has encouraged all residents to attend his second Older Persons Information Fair, which takes place on Friday (13 October) between 10am and 2pm.

The hugely popular free event, supported by the News, returns to the Hayling Island Community Centre with around 40 exhibitors showcasing what’s on offer to senior citizens across the constituency.

Those exhibiting include everything from public bodies such as the Police, NHS and Department of Work and Pensions; to charities such as Age UK; to community groups and clubs like Hayling Island Choir, U3A (University of the Third Age) and Men’s Shed.

The Fair is open to everyone but is aimed at older people, their friends, family, neighbours and carers with attendees encouraged to drop-in anytime on the day. Parking at the Community Centre is free.

This year for the first time residents will have the chance to become a Dementia Friend, with free, interactive sessions being run by Dementia Friendly Hayling at 11am and 1pm. No booking is need.

Alan said: “Last year my first Older Persons Information Fair was a big success with over 1000 people attending, so I decided to bring it back to Hayling Island. It should be a great day showcasing the very best of what is on offer for our senior citizens in the community while also signposting essential services.

“I fully appreciate the hard work and contribution to society made by our older residents, with many of them now running groups for the benefit of the whole community. These help address loneliness, combat illness and improve wellbeing, all of which helps older people live independently for longer, something I am very keen to promote as local MP.”

The Fair will also be supporting the #HappyToChat campaign by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, which aims to promote conversations between both neighbours and strangers in the community. Alan and his team will be handing out the commission’s badges to visitors and supporting the campaign’s objective to tackle isolation among elderly residents.

Seema Kennedy MP said: "Jo Cox came into parliament in 2015 determined to do something about loneliness. Jo would be inspired to see her parliamentary colleagues continuing her legacy by organising events such as the Older Persons Fair in Havant. By coming together, we can show everyone that we are #happytochat and help tackle loneliness."

One of the community partners for the event, Age UK, also praised the return of the fair and encouraged residents to come along to find out more.

Rory Massey, Operations Manager of Age UK Portsmouth, said: “I am delighted that Alan's Older Persons Information Fair will be returning for a second consecutive year. Last year it was a very well attended event with a wide range of exhibitors. So whether you are interested in joining a club or would like to find out more about what support is available in the community, I encourage you to come along.”

For more information on the Fair, and for a full list of exhibitors, visit alanmak.org.uk/opif