'We’re not related by blood, but we are a family'
Margaret, Sutton House
Margaret has found a place to belong at the heart of a city where not everyone knows their neighbours. She has joined a loving community of 'recycled teenagers' at Sutton House, in East London, who love to dance, sing and create art. To Margaret, they are family.
'We’re not old people, don’t call us old. Age is just a number, we’ve all got one some are bigger than others aren’t they? We’ve retired not expired, that’s what I tell people.
We are a group called the Recycled Teenagers, we are over 55s. And we do arts, crafts, we do dancing and we socialise.
She's very funny that one. And the troublemaker we call Natalie over there.
Then of course we’ve got our Stuart. The young man that puts us through our dance paces now and again.'
" I go away aching and they go away twenty years younger."
'I like to keep myself busy, I don’t like to sit at home turning into a cabbage. I really worry about older people around me. There’s people in the block where I live, they hardly ever come out of their flats.
They’re waiting for God actually, that’s what I say.
In the big cities it’s a rat race, you know you can live next door to a neighbour and you probably don’t even know them.
Getting that message across to people: There is things out there to do, even though you’re the older generation.
There should be more of these places like Sutton House where people of my age can go to and gather.'
We are a family
'You have to go there to know and then you think "oh yes!"
We’re not related by blood but we are a family, we all know we come from different parts of the world but we accept each other for what we are. We all have our little jokes with each other, you know we take the ... out of each other.
I feel like I belong. I’m surrounded by people I know who love me, I hope, and I love them.
They accept you for what you are and who are you. Well they accept me anyway so that tells you something about them doesn’t it?'
" We’re not related by blood but we are a family. I'm surrounded by people I know who love me, I hope, and I love them. "