Over-50s step into new hobbies with Age Connects Torfaen’s Stepping Stones Campaign.
Earlier this year, Age Connects Torfaen launched their Stepping Stones Project to help people over the age of 50 to learn new skills. The project was funded by the UK Government Community Renewal Fund.
The Stepping Stones project aims to provide an opportunity for people over the age of 50 to learn skills and develop interests, and find a new role that suits them. For 16 selected individuals, they will then be able to take these skills forward and turn their new passion into profit by attending a follow up course with a business grant to help set up their own business in their chosen field.
All workshops are free and all materials are included within the sessions. Workshops include: making jewellery, ceramics, cake decorating, growing your own produce in an allotment, and the repair shop which is geared towards upcycling and DIY services.
The project is set up to give people an opportunity to work on their hobbies and dedicate time towards a passion, which they may not have had early on in their life. This may be because they struggled to find a work-life balance or were unable to set aside time for passions and interests because of their job, earnings, and progression. As well as this, this project is aimed towards those who have retired and miss the sense of purpose that comes from being at work.
Workshop consultant, Lisa Floyd, talked about her experience with the project so far and said “Being involved in the ‘Stepping Stones’ project has been a really positive experience, both for the participants and myself.”. She went on to say that “It is an excellent project offering the chance to engage with other creative people in a supportive environment, along with the potential opportunity of developing a business idea.”
From her perspective as a tutor, she said “ it has been a pleasure meeting with the various groups who show such enthusiasm when trying out new skills. Just a few weeks into the sessions and everyone’s confidence increased and after first focusing on learning the basics, individual designs have emerged and continue to develop. One learner has even put their existing skills to good use, creating their own wirework tools!”
Age Connects is now accepting referrals for the next cycle of 12 week free workshops. If you or someone you know is aged 50 or above and would enjoy attending a class, complete the referral form ( https://ageconnectstorfaen.org.uk/stepping-stones-referral-form/) or alternatively call 01495 769264.