Music story


Sue (voice, guitar) and Gifty (voice, calabash) improvise a song from Gifty’s repertoire. Also heard: Ken (guitar) and Stephen (guitar).

Then Gifty tells us why she wrote the song.

We are getting closer to the live music project concept, based on our 2012-2013 ‘Music Stories’ workshops — music as a catalyst for personal and shared memories.

Recorded 29 July 2020 in St Mary’s Secret Garden, Hackney.

Wednesday in the Secret Garden

Fifty-Plus Secret Garden Party

The long-running sporadic podcast from St Mary’s Secret Garden has made way for this new social event that can involve far more people.

There is an overwhelming need for older people to get out of their flats, feel safe, and share the experience with others. That need is greater than the demand for digital support, but we will try to offer some form of digital help if we can.

This is now a regular Wednesday afternoon event (2 to 3:30 pm).

For the details, please visit page 50-plus Digital at St Mary’s Secret Garden

Friday HelpSpace

Online help for digital beginners

If you are new to this, perhaps uncertain about how anything works, but you have an Internet connection and you are reading this — you are probably a relative beginner, and our Friday HelpSpace is for you.

HelpSpace is our online meeting room that we set up mainly to provide help for people who have a problem they are able to describe. It’s open most of the time.

The regular Friday session is an experimental drop-in event for up to five people who would like to talk to an authorised helper (or to each other) without the rigmarole of making an appointment.

When, where, more info

  • Every Friday, 12 to 1 pm
  • HelpSpace online venue « 50pd.uk/helpspace »
  • There is more information on our Help page – 50pd.uk/help
  • Previous experience of online meeting rooms is not necessary. We are here for beginners.
  • Do not try to log in or sign up for anything. You will never have to do that. Those links are for the meeting room host. not for you.

More about our meeting rooms

  • Our rooms are persistent — they don’t close when the meeting ends.
  • Our rooms might be locked for planned events, otherwise they are normally open and unlocked.
  • You don’t need an invitation to enter an unlocked room.
  • If a meeting room is locked, you will land in the waiting room and then tap on a button labelled Knock. The meeting host will let you in.

Social distancing and safety after 4 July

Keep a safe distance. It's still 2m | 6ft

Official government guidelines

Social distancing

The web page link below explains why our meetups must be outdoors, and limited to a maximum six people in each group.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July

Using community centres

The web page link below explains why we may have to wait a long time before returning to Whitmore Community Centre, Dalston Library, Finsbury Park Trust, or any other indoor venue.

COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

NHS test and trace

The web page link below explains what happens if anyone who has been part of an outdoors group tests positive for COVID-19. Every member of that group must self-isolate for 14 days to prevent transmission of the infection.

NHS test and trace: how it works

Tablets and wifi for disconnected older people

While the drop-in centres are closed, we have been moving the drop-in tablets (and some laptops) to where you live.

Typically, a DBS-checked volunteer delivers to your doorstep …

  • an Android tablet
  • a portable Wifi with a 3G data SIM card, prepaid for 2 or 3 months.

You look after the tablet until we start our drop-in meetings again.

The 3G connection is not fast, but it is reliable — and definitely adequate for email and normal web use. It is not suitable for watching films, or online meetings with video.

If you have basic Internet skills, but no connection that you can use, please contact us about this (details are on our Contact page).