Ageing Well Project
As part of our featured account this week the Torbay Community Development Trust have shared with us some information about their Ageing Well programme.
As many of you will have read last autumn, the Torbay Community Development Trust’s Ageing Well programme has won a £6 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund to help counteract feelings of isolation and exclusion experienced by many in our community.
Forty-five percent of Torbay’s population is over 50, and it’s estimated that 6,000 of these residents are isolated, the causes ranging from retirement and bereavement to poor health and lack of mobility
Older people have told us that above all they want to be valued and respected, and to contribute to their community. Lots talked about feeling marginalized and losing a sense of purpose in their lives, some even saying that they feel they have nothing to live for. Given this, the Ageing Well Torbay programme intends to:
- Re-connect older people with friends and with their communities, enabling them to feel their lives have value and purpose, encouraging them to contributing their skills and knowledge to their community, seeing older age a positive opportunity
- Ensure more older people have high personal, learning and service aspirations
- Ensure local residents value older people and that ageing is viewed positively and actively celebrated
People are already asking how all this can be achieved. Well, the plan is to embark on three linked groups of activities:
- Activities at the neighbourhood level where a network of ‘community builders’ and ‘connectors’ will be developed, focusing on the most isolated older people. This will be supported by community magazines delivered to doorsteps in every neighbourhood, and ‘Timebanks’ where residents can exchange skills. Work has already started in Hele, Preston, Barton and Watcombe, with more planned across all of Torbay’s neighbourhoods. (You can read more about Timebanks below.)
- Activities to raise aspirations and stimulate the redesigning of services, with specialised support for older people with specific needs, including carers or those with visual impairment. This will mean working alongside, for example, Age UK, British Red Cross, Speak Out Torbay, Brixham Does Care, Crossroads Care, MENCAP and Torbay Council.
- Activities to promote a positive image of ageing, drawing on all of the above to create a media campaign and including a bi-annual ageing festival.
An Older People’s Assembly
An Older People’s Assembly, will underpin the whole programme as a new voice for the older person in Torbay. Among other things, the Assembly will hold the Ageing Well programme’s board to account and will be a lasting legacy once Lottery funding has come to an end.
The most substantial asset for the programme’s delivery are the skills, experience and time of people over 50 in Torbay. If you have something to offer or want to find out more, please get in touch with us!
Most activities will begin this coming April and what we call Creative Engagement will take place throughout the programme to ensure that the activities are really meeting people’s needs.
In these pages and elsewhere you’ll soon be seeing specific examples of the Ageing Well programme in action. If you’re interested in getting involved yourself, whether in an employed or voluntary capacity, keep an eye on local press and job sites where opportunities will be advertised.
In fact, if you’re interested in any aspect of Ageing Well and would like more information, contact us here at the Torbay Community Development Trust on 01803 212638 or by emailing [email protected] You can also visit our website to find out still more: www.torbaycdt.org.uk