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Social and Community Events

At the 50th Anniversary Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology hosted online by Lancaster University from 7 - 9 July 2021, we are happy to offer virtual social and community events for our delegates to get together and network informally, as well as showcasing some of the innovative work being done in the ageing research community. 

Social programme overview by day

Please note that this programme is provisional until we confirm the detailed scientific programme in April 2021, and may be subject to change. All times are in BST (GMT+1). Information on accessing these sessions will be provided in the joining instructions to delegates.

Wednesday 7th July 2021 - Day 1 of the Main Conference

11:30 - 13:30 Lunchtime events

  • Get Moving! Physical activity session with Lancaster's sports and exercise specialists

    The lunch time activities will provide a welcome opportunity to 'stretch our legs' from the morning sessions and prepare for the afternoon sessions. Our Sport and Exercise colleagues, with experience in provision of physical activity in various settings (e.g. Nixon et al, 2020; Gates et al., 2019), will deliver simple activities that will refresh us and revitalise us for the rest of the day's presentations. Even better, these activities can be done without the need for any particular equipment, making them easy to do and fun for everyone, whatever the apprehension level may be! Further, they can be done at any time during the conference and beyond - keeping you active for much longer than the conference lunchtime! We will be happy to discuss ideas and ways to keep active individually as well as explore research ideas and network.

  • Virtual Reality for Wellbeing: Explore ideas of how Virtual Reality and Immersive Technology can impact wellbeing in later life

    For older adults whose outdoor routines are restricted due to failing health or mobility impairments, this emerging technology, known as immersive virtual reality (or VR), can open up a new virtual world in a completely new way. Once they wear the VR device on their heads, they could be immersed in an alternate virtual 3-Dimensional environment, which could practically be anything, a park, a beach or a historical scenic place and engage with it by moving their head to look around while using the handheld controllers to move and interact within the virtual world. In this session, we invite you to watch the video and join the discussion on how VR could potentially improve the quality of life for older adults.

12:30 - 13:30 Ageing in a Global Context Series Book Launch - Policy Press

Join Policy Press for the launch of the latest books in the Ageing in a Global Context series. Find out more about the series from the Series Editors and hear from the authors about their new books: 'Ageing and the Crisis in Health and Social Care' by Bethany Simmonds, 'Disability and Ageing' by Ann Leahy and 'The Environments of Ageing' by Sheila Peace. Bring your questions.

19:00 - 20:00 Welcome Reception.

Wander round and 'bump' into people - stop and have a chat - maybe bring a celebratory beverage! The virtual Welcome Reception will feature a short welcome from Conference Chair, Carol Holland, and a message from the BSG President, Tom Scharf, on our 50th Anniversary.

The session will also feature the launch of a landmark critical review of British Gerontology: The Evolution of British Gerontology: personal perspectives and historical developments by Miriam Bernard, Mo Ray and Jackie Reynolds. Drawing on interviews with 50 of the most influential figures in the field and analyses of the archives of the BSG, the book provides a comprehensive picture of half a century of gerontology research, theory, policy and practice. It places the country's achievements in an international context and looks to the future to plot new directions in thinking. This is the story of the remarkable progress of gerontology, told through the eyes of those who have led it.

Thursday 8th July 2021 - Day 2 of the main conference

12:00 - 13:00 Lunchtime events.

These are optional lunchtime events and more information (including information on how to access) will be provided to delegates:

  • Yoga

    This 45-minute live session is a physical yoga practice with the breath to rejuvenate the blood and nerve supply to the head, neck and spine and finishes with a short relaxation. It is offered by Grace Benson, retired Lancaster yoga practitioner. Grace has travelled and trained in India, she has practiced yoga for over forty years, and seen 35 of her clients become yoga practitioners themselves!

  • "More than just a kick about!" Walking football and benefits for people over 50

    The health benefits of playing football and the importance of exercise and social contact for healthy ageing are well established, but few older adults in the UK take enough exercise. Football is popular, flexible in format and draws players into engrossing, effortful and social exercise, but the physical demands of play at full speed may make it unsustainable for some older adults. Restricted to walking pace, will play still be engaging? Will health benefits be retained? Will physical demands remain manageable? This group of walking footballers all volunteered to take part in a 12-week study based at Aston University in 2015 to examine these questions (Reddy et al., 2017), but the team is still playing six years later! In this session, the players and their coach will show you a video of playing and will explain something of what the group means to them, why they keep coming and how it has flexed over the years and over the pandemic period.

13:00 - 14:00 Learning in Later Life - The adventures of the Continuous Learning Group at Lancaster University

When the "Senior Learners Programme" at Lancaster University was due to close down, a group of participants organised themselves to run it on a voluntary basis. The Lunchtime Lecture Series has delivered over 300 lectures, over 10 years, on a wide range of subjects, supported several PhDs, and helped many researchers to gather data for their studies. Subjects include the change in religious practices of five generations of a Jewish family, how arctic explorers survived prolonged isolation and hardship and the creation of an Advance Planning Portfolio for end of life treatment and care in partnership with the NHS.

Participants report an increase in their wellbeing and a reduction in isolation, and friendships have been forged along the way. Come along to find out more about this model for learning which could easily be replicated in any similar institution. There will be visual resources and a number of participants who have enjoyed taking part.

19:00 - 21:30 BSG's 50th Anniversary Party

Wander round, bring a drink and mingle. 1970s outfits welcome!

The evening will include:

19.30 - 20:30: Decades Quiz - what do you remember/know from the 1970s onwards? Get into huddles in Wonder.me to form teams

20:30 - 21:30: On line Disco - give it a try, dance like nobody's watching!

Friday 9th July 2020 - Day 3 of the main conference

12:00 - 13:00 Mentoring with ERA: find out about mentoring: 'speed dating' style mentoring link ups

Building capacity for future mentors: For the last three years, the Emerging Researchers in Ageing group have matched PhD students and early career researchers with more established members of the British Society of Gerontology. The mentoring scheme has provided mentees to discuss challenges with the research, publication strategy and career options with people in more established academic roles. However, the value of the mentoring scheme to mentors has been less clearly articulated. Previous mentors have appreciated the opportunity to develop leadership skills and guide junior colleagues into fruitful careers in ageing research within and outside of academia. However, they also felt that they were not always prepared to take on the unique status and responsibilities of 'mentor'. To help alleviate these issues, this session provides an overview of the mentoring scheme and provides mentoring training to Society members interested in supporting future generations of gerontologists and ageing researchers.

13:00 - 14:00 Co-research in dementia related studies: join with co-researchers as they discuss the impacts of their roles

In this informal lunchtime session, people living with dementia and carers will share their experiences of taking part in dementia-related research as co-researchers. By co-research, we also include co-production and co-design. We will have the opportunity to hear about participation as co-researchers, views on why it was important to be involved in a co-research capacity, and the impact it makes to both the research and to themselves.

The main aim of this session is to provide an opportunity for informal discussion and knowledge exchange. So please join us at this session for an interesting and lively debate, if you have experience you can share of co-production in dementia research, are planning to use these approaches, or would like to but are unsure where to start.

The session will be facilitated by Dr Caroline Swarbrick and Dr Hazel Morbey. Both were researchers on the NIHC/ESRC Neighbourhoods and Dementia programme (2014 - 2019). Caroline led the programme's co-research elements supporting this right across its eight programmes. Hazel facilitated co-research in two work programmes, evaluating the evidence base for dementia training in hospitals and outcomes of importance to people living with dementia.