Margaret Barker

The Arts can change lives

Thu, June 27, 2019 by Sita

Hi, I’m Margaret a trustee at Settle Stories. I am 80 years old.  With this in mind, I wanted to talk to you about how easy it is for older people to feel they have become invisible. Why you ask? I’d say quite simply it’s just because we have white hair, are inevitably slowing down and the world is moving on, ever faster.

I want to change this narrative that is ever prevalent in society. This is why I really want YOU to consider supporting Settle Stories and help us raise £1,000 to support arts and story projects to reduce loneliness in older people in our community across 2019.

I know many older people who have lived fascinating, rich and varied lives. These people all have amazing stories to tell. BUT, who wants to listen? Part of the problem is that older people can feel as if nobody is interested. Settle Stories projects across 2019 will provide a platform for their stories.

If we can raise the funds needed we will run a varied programme of work. Variety is hugely important if we are to reach different types of older people. I feel as an older person many activities targeted at my age group can be very dumbed down. Settle Stories will take a very person centred approach to their work with older people, allowing them to express their stories through various art forms which are right for them – in a non patronising way.

I believe we older people can contribute just as much as anyone else in terms of the arts. But, someone has  to provide the spaces to help us flourish. I’ve been lucky, since I retired I’ve had the time and money to experiment with various art forms. It sounds a touch cliche… but I’ve been able to discover skills I never realised I had. I had never really developed my artistic skills before this.

There really are very few opportunities for older people to see and experience great art in this area. Yes, it is possible to travel to urban hubs like Leeds but frankly I just don’t do cities anymore and neither do many of my friends. It’s just too expensive and the travelling is hard work.

I see Settle Stories as a charity that enlivens people’s lives. This project is no different. Together,  with your support we can give older people in this area a boost. An opportunity to get out and get creative. A project that shares the unique and brilliant lives of older people has to be something beneficial. If you agree please do support us today.

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