Time is running out for talented older people in the West Midlands to share their skills at the Royal Voluntary Service’s GrandFest event, with the deadline of Friday 10 March fast approaching for accomplished craftspeople to apply to be a ‘GrandMaker’. As part of its 40th year celebrations, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, McCarthy and Stone, has joined forces with the Royal Voluntary Service to support the charity’s annual GrandFest event; and both parties have issued a final call for potential GrandMakers to apply to be part of the one-day festival, which will take place in central London on Sunday 18th June.

GrandFest celebrates older people and the heritage skills they can pass on to the younger generation. Applicants aged 70 plus will be invited to volunteer to teach alongside other grandmakers at a GrandFest skills workshop, while those aged 60 plus will get the opportunity to take part in a GrandFest event at their local McCarthy & Stone development. Here they will get the opportunity to share, teach, or brush up on their own practical skills in an intimate environment, in crafts such as jam making, wood turning, weaving and more.

The application process has been designed to be as quick and easy as possible, and can be completed online at https://grandfest.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/apply/.    

Robert Monkman, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for McCarthy and Stone, said: “GrandFest is a truly inspiring event which recognises the wonderful diversity of traditional skills older people have and the importance of passing these on through the generations.  I would urge people in the West Midlands to make the most of this exciting opportunity to apply to be part of GrandFest or to register their interest in playing an active role in a series of regional events that will follow in McCarthy and Stone developments across the county.

TV and radio personality, Gloria Hunniford, is lending her support to McCarthy & Stone and Royal Voluntary Service in their search for GrandMakers. She said: ‘Being a grandparent is a truly wonderful and fulfilling experience and passing on practical skills and sharing experience which made my own childhood special has to be one of the most satisfying and enjoyable aspects of spending time with my grandchildren.

“So many people of my generation would make perfect GrandMakers. We all have different interests, knowledge and skills which have given us great pleasure over the years. GrandFest is a fantastic opportunity to share this expertise with younger people and to inspire the next generation to enjoy these hobbies and experiences.”