Older people in Northumberland donned hi-tech headsets for a fun afternoon of ‘silent’ song and dance through the streets of Hexham.

Part flash mob, part walking tour, participants joined a guided musical adventure hosted by Silent Adventures Newcastle, listening to instructions and uplifting music on their headsets as they walked – and danced – through the town last week. The event started and finished at Rising Café where refreshments were served.

It was part of First Time for Everything, a programme designed by Royal Voluntary Service and Prudential to give older people an opportunity to try something new for free in their local community, while staying active and keeping fit.

Louise Parker, Royal Voluntary Service activity co-ordinator for Northumberland, said: “The participants had a brilliant time, they braved the rain to sing and dance through the town with Molly and Rachel from Silent Adventures, spreading cheer to everyone that we saw.

"The tours are incredibly uplifting and it was great to see the participants enjoying themselves. A few people were quite nervous at the start but thoroughly enjoyed the activity.”

Research by the Royal Voluntary Service last year found that two thirds (65 per cent) of people aged 60 and over wanted to try a new activity, but three in ten (29 per cent) felt there weren’t enough local opportunities to do so.

Since the programme’s launch in 2017, and thanks to the support of 980 volunteers, more than 450 Prudential First Time for Everything events have taken place across the UK.

Over 5,000 older people to date have come along to try a wide range of new activities, from yoga, paddle boarding and IT skills to British Sign Language, treetop trekking and pottery.