Meet Me at the Albany brings older people together on Tuesdays to sing, craft and connect. Until Covid-19, older people would come for a day of activities supported by artists and volunteers. Now, after 15 months of isolation, some of Meet Me’s members have gathered at the Albany in Deptford to catch up face-to-face.
During the pandemic Meet Me at… members met on the phone in conferences calls or listened to the Meet Me Radio show to stay connected. Joint partners, Entelechy Arts and the Albany created a range of Covid safe activities for members which included the delivery of 250 Gnomes at Home boxes, doorstep visits by Ida Barr (performance artist Christopher Green) and the Meet Me on the Radio show.
For their first gathering since March 2020, the weather was perfect and members relaxed in the Albany garden spending time catching up with each other.
Joan said: “it has been a year and a half, it has been a long long time, but when I sit here amongst you it seems like only yesterday, that is the feeling I get being here with you, so all I can say is, Welcome back to the Albany!”
Dahlia said: “Today I feel like I am on top of the world”
Ted said: “It’s been great coming back here and into the Red Room! What it means to me, it’s heaven…It has brightened me up a lot…you are all my family…”
Maddy Mills, Director of Entelechy Arts said “It was a joyous and emotional moment as we welcomed some of our members back into the building today to restart Meet Me at the Albany in person. After such a challenging year we have all been waiting for this moment to come – and it didn’t disappoint! We’re so grateful to our members for their resilience, hopefulness, and creativity that they’ve given us over the past year as we ran our programmes remotely, and we’re looking forward to the coming weeks and months as we continue to welcome more members back”.
Gavin Barlow, Director of the Albany said: “Seeing our Meet Me members back in the building today has meant just as much to us as it has to them. Although all of us at the Albany, Entelechy Arts and a brilliant team of volunteers have worked hard to support members with activities, remote choirs and phone calls, it’s people that really bring the Albany to life and so we’re thrilled to be seeing them again in person after over a year apart.”
Over the summer small groups of Meet Me members will continue to come back to the Albany in line with government guidance. The remote telephone creative cluster programmes, which were created during the pandemic will continue to run. These programmes include singing, making and poetry for those who are unable to attend in person.