New initiative to make Hackney inclusive for seniors

The crowd gathered in Dalston Square for the launch of Hackney Circle. Pic: Jessica Chia

The crowd gathered in Dalston Square for the launch of Hackney Circle. Pic: Jessica Chia

Hackney Circle, a social initiative for the over 60s, launched in Dalston Square today in an attempt to make the borough more inclusive for older residents.

Large crowds gathered for the launch of the nine-week pilot scheme, which is free for all Hackney residents aged 60 and over. Hackney Circle will offer a range of free events, activities, and special offers.

A screening of the documentary Fabulous Fashionistas will be held at Rio Cinema later this month; the film features six stylish women who redefine old age. Other highlights include a series of photo preservation workshops at the Hackney Archives, as well as a performance of Misbehaving put on by the Arcola Theatre’s 60+ group.

Susan Dixon, 66, of Hackney, said: “You’ve got an opportunity to go out and do something, even when you’re disabled. It’s fantastic! I don’t know why we didn’t start it earlier.”

Three of Hackney Circle's new members. Pic: Jessica Chia

Three of Hackney Circle’s new members. Pic: Jessica Chia

At the launch this afternoon, members from local businesses expressed their excitement for the scheme, and Sharon Patrick, the Speaker of Hackney, gave an empowering speech. She said: “I think 60 is the new 40, and 80 is the new 60!”

The initiative hopes to create lasting relationships as older residents are introduced to new social spaces around Hackney. Members of the Circle will receive a booklet filled with special vouchers for local restaurants, cafes, and and cultural institutions.  At present, more than 200 residents have signed up.

Councillor Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member of Health, Social Care and Culture, said: “Dalston has changed a lot in recent years and is one of the most exciting places in London. It’s really important that everyone is able to enjoy all the great things, new and established, that are on offer in the area, no matter what their age.”

Residents can sign up by contacting Lucy McMenemy by phone: 020 8356 2919 or by emailing:

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