Overall levels of participation are very low, but there are particular areas where activities, especially those which can be undertaken in the home, are relatively popular, e.g. textile crafts like embroidery, crocheting, knitting

Creative participation

Smaller numbers also enjoy painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture.

Pursuits which require physical activity or leaving the home are taken up only by a very few. Heydays are amongst those people most likely not to participate in any creative activities at all.

29% have not participated in any of the creative activities in the last 12 months


The vast majority are retired, and living on low incomes – more than half live either on the state pension or less than £10,000 per year. Few people in this group entered higher education, with just over 40% having no formal qualifications at all. There is a high level of people who once pursued trade apprenticeships. Significantly more than half of all Heydays have long standing health problems, for which regular care and/or support is required.

Digital habits

The least digitally engaged of all the segments, over 40% do not use the internet at all and a similar number do not own mobile phones. Fewer still use smartphones.

Less than one in ten people will use the internet to browse museum, heritage or arts organisations’ websites. Of those who do, the majority do so to find out information about events or performers. They are less likely to book tickets online and they are very unlikely to view or download digital media content.

The use of social networking sites is low, of the small minority that do use them, they do so principally as a source of information. Only a very small percentage use social networks to discuss artistic events and experiences or to share media content.



Newspapers are an important media channel for Heydays with significant proportions taking the popular tabloids, such as The Sun and The Mirror, as well as local daily papers. A wide range of political persuasions are represented within this group.

Television is also influential, with many watching frequently. 95% have access to digital television channels, with a large majority accessing it via Freeview, rather than paid subscription channels.

Apart from television and newspapers, word of mouth is the most important means of seeking information as they rely heavily on recommendations and reassurance.

Postal mailings are also likely to elicit the best response from direct communications, whilst email/internet communications are widely avoided.

Community Involvement

Few people are involved in their local communities through volunteering. Age and related health issues are the most likely factors mitigating against this, with levels of volunteering about half the national average. However, amongst those who do volunteer, visiting lonely and isolated people, providing friendship and offering practical help such as driving people for shopping and appointments are strong features.

Of those who volunteer:
53% do so by giving practical help
18% do so by visiting people
13% do so by befriending or mentoring people


Heydays are the least likely to make donations to the arts and cultural sector, which they increasingly see as less relevant to them. With limited incomes, the very small minority that do give to the arts are only able to afford infrequent donations of less than £20.

Outside the arts, preferred charities tend to be related to charities working with the elderly or with animals.



Heydays are spread across the UK with large concentrations in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. Often found on the edge of cities and in suburbs which are not close to the heart of any cultural offer, many live in sheltered or specially adapted accommodation such as local council or housing association tenants, mostly in older terraced housing, flats or bungalows.


The vast majority, 69% are retired older singles. Over 50% are aged 71 years or older, with a bias towards women because of longer life expectancy, and many have been widowed.

69% are elderly singles or families with no children under the age of 18
60% have a long-standing illness, disability or infirmity
Of these 89% report a limited activity as a consequence

Diversity of the segment

Whilst age is the chief defining feature of Heydays, the group also contains a small but notable subset of younger people who, age excepted, share many of the group’s other defining features such as lower income and educational status, single with no children and poorer health, living in similar locations with limited access to cultural provision and a much reduced interest or propensity to attend. This sub-group is aged between 18-25 and accounts for around 10% of households.

One of the least ethnically diverse groups, they do have a diverse range of health problems which impact activity, mobility, speech, hearing, sight and memory.

Segment best match

Arts Audiences Insight: Older & Homebound

Mosaic 2014: Vintage Value (69%)