Knitting, owning fifteen cats, reading the newspaper on a rocking chair, staying indoors — these are just some of the many things associated with being old. But for the Posh Club, the word “old” doesn’t even exist.
The group started with siblings Simon Casson and Annie Bowden, who wanted to do something for their mother who constantly felt lonely. They organized a tea party and invited some of their mother’s friends who were also in their 80s to 90s.
Seeing the positive effect of this gathering to their mother, Simon and Annie decided to take it to the next level — they hired and decorated the local church hall and opened the invitation to all senior citizens in their neighborhood.
The community continually grew, and now the Posh Club established five major clubs all over London and the South East.
Coined as “a glamorous cabaret for older folk”, what you will see at the Posh Club events are not far from the typical parties the young ones go to. Except there’s tea instead of strong alcohol, fancy pastries instead of chips, walking sticks and crutches scattered on the dance floor because yes, the oldies are busy dancing.
Aside from the club’s main vision to unite a happier and healthier community of old folks, for Simon Casson, it is also an attempt to create a crossover between the younger and the older generations. “I think we’ve lost a lot of interaction between the ages, it’s not the type of thing that capitalism encourages.” (The Guardian) This is also the reason why the roster of volunteers for the club are composed of people from different age groups and backgrounds.
Things seem to be looking up for the Posh Club, but volunteer Dickie admits that every successful event is made possible by grants, and as much as they want to put up more club events, there is a need to limit it. Dickie also shares that people from other cities show up in their events and express their need to have the same type of community in their own neighborhood.
“They always say, ‘Why can’t we have something like this where we live?’ So that’s an ambition. But it would need to be quality, have the right atmosphere, be done with love – because if it doesn’t have those things it’s not The Posh Club.” (Vice)
Loneliness and isolation is a very common and serious condition that the aging group go through. There are numerous factors on why they are expected to stay inside the comfort of their own homes, and these cases are usually due to physical inability and illness.
However, there is a large sum of old folks left in their own homes who are forced to look after themselves because their relatives cannot attend to them anymore. This is why some resort to retirement homes.
The volunteers’ initiative to create this kind of community is big step in helping fight their loneliness and isolation. Not only does it build a sense of belongingness, but it also breaks the stereotype that old folks cannot enjoy themselves anymore. As 71-year-old Margaret Koroidovi said, “I call us recycled teenagers. We’ve retired, not expired.” (The Guardian) And maybe it’s about time that we give them this credit too. Who says old folks ever stopped the party?
Watch the video below to see what goes down at The Posh Club events.
All photos are from The Posh Club’s Facebook Page