FRIENDSHIP and making the most of later life will be the themes of a week-long festival for older people in October.

The Brightlife Festival will be launched on Older People's Day, on October 1, by Brightlife, a pioneering project led by older generations in west Cheshire.

It will promote the work Brightlife does to reduce loneliness and social isolation, while bringing generations together through a range of social activities and celebration events..

Adam Shaw, head of Brightlife, said: "Social isolation is extremely harmful to our health.

"Lack of social connections can be as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, putting people at risk of premature death.

"With 36 per cent of residents over 65 living alone in the borough it is vitally important that we develop innovative and engaging support networks that will help create a better life for older people by giving them a sense of purpose and fulfilment."

The Brightlife Festival will be launched at Chester Town Hall on October 1 with a premiere of a short film made in association with Oscar-winning studio Aardman Animations.

This film combines Aardman Animations distinctive animal characters with the real voices of older people who have experienced and overcome social isolation.

It aims to reassure people that they are not alone and that there are things they can do to be less lonely.

The Lion Salt Works, in Northwich, hosts the first event of the festival on September 29, in the run up to the main launch.

This is a creative writing celebration event with renowned Cheshire Poet Laureate John Linley.

The event starts at 1pm and to book email

Northwich is also hosting a volunteer fair at Northwich Memorial Court from 2pm to 4pm on October 8.

This will give people chance to find out how to get more involved in the community or make new friends by taking part in Brightlife activities.

For more information about this email

For more information about Brightlife ring 01606 884444.