First Muslim Lord Mayor of Bristol presents Council Awards and meets UWE Robot at the Age Festival
Bristol City Council which is celebrating its new title as the Green Capital of Europe and enjoys its title as the City of Sanctuary, has celebrated its annual Age Festival yesterday, Monday 29 June 2013 at the City Hall
Councillor Faruk Choudhury, the first Muslim Lord Mayor of Bristol presented the council awards to a number of men and women over 55, as an acknowledgement of their contributions to their communities and for making a difference in other people’s lives in different fields. The Awards categories were: Sports and Physical Activity, The Caring Award, The Challenge Award, The Community Award and the Group Award.
Different organisations, authorities, individuals and educational organisations participated in celebrating Bristol’s Age Festival 2013 including Members of Golden Oldies, the Golden Agers, Link age, St Monica Trust and many others.
Dr. Razvan U Constantinescu, Chair European Movement Bristol, reflected the interest of The European Union and its Movement in Bristol in people over 55, their well-being and concerns. The academic sector represented by Dr. Praminda Caleb-Solly, lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies at the University of the West of England and Anne Allardice from Bristol Robotics Lab UWE brought to the festival their friend The Kompaii R & D Robot, designed at UWE, to assist elderly and disabled people and others who need special care. The mobile robot talks, understands speech, and can navigate autonomously. It even helps people stay fit by suggesting a variety of activities. The main goal of the MOBISERV project is not only to keep people independent and boost their quality of life, but also to support and empower their social carer, often a partner, in providing care.
There was a tea party, music, singing, dancing encouraged by the participation of the Salsa Nova Band, the Desperate Men performance and Tan Teddy, the traditional Jamaican Folk Group, all of which created a cheerful atmosphere and brought bundles of happiness and laughter to the Festival.
Housing issues, health concerns, getting out and about, hobbies, volunteering and many other things were discussed on tens of stalls. Communication was one of the most important issues highlighted since it is important to every age and more so for senior citizens where IT literacy can make their lives more productive, easier and help them make informed decisions and be independent. For that reason ‘Getting what you want from the internet’ was a session hosted and organised by Sandy Chalmers, the UK’s first female radio station manager and former head of publicity for BBC Radio to encourage more people over 55 to learn about using their computers and the internet and to benefit from a number of available free courses financed by local authorities.