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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Why we all need to be pro-fun


Comedian Sanderson Jones will be speaking in a masterclass session about 'Having fun as we age' at October's Homes fit for ageing conference in Bristol. But why does he feel so passionately about this, and what does it really mean? Sanderson guest blogs for CIH.

Building with colourful jigsaw painted onEnjoyment at every stage

My session at Homes fit for ageing is all based around having fun as we age - and a lot of people ask me why this is so important. But in my opinion, surely it's important to have fun at every stage of our lives. The question isn't "Why should we have fun as we age?" but "Why shouldn't we?"

We often spend time worrying about our older friends and relatives. We want them to be safe and we want them to be cared for, which makes sense. But sometimes these worries can lead us to prevent the fun stuff from happening, and that's not how it should work. We all need to be pro-fun, every step of the way! 

Pro-fun, pro-active

I set up the Sunday Assembly back in 2012 along with Pippa Evans, who's also a comedian. We wanted to create an environment in which people could sing songs, laugh out loud, hear inspiring talks and make friends. Ultimately, the Sunday Assembly exists to build communities which help everyone live life as fully as possible. 

It's a common misconception that social isolation is something which only affects older people, but it can strike at any stage in someone's life. One Sunday Assembly volunteer, Martin, struggled with his mental health to the point where he found it difficult to leave the house - this left him with a real lack of purpose. 

On one occasion, Martin was brave enough to come along to a Sunday Assembly session. He returned again, and again, and slowly realised how much value he has. Now he works as one of our volunteers! 

Part of something

For many people, the most important aspect of the Sunday Assembly is feeling that they're part of something bigger than themselves. And as the organisation grows, so does that feeling. We now have groups in California right through to New Zealand! 

When it comes to having fun as we age, I think that's the crux of it all - making sure we're all involved in something which takes us out of our comfort zone and beyond our four walls.    

I'm really looking forward to kicking off the Homes fit for ageing event in October. As the name of my session might suggest, there'll certainly be a lot of fun involved - so come prepared to sing…

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