It’s that time again! Age UK London has started our “Your Priorities” consultation, an annual survey to discover the issues that older Londoners consider most important in their daily lives.
The survey is a great opportunity for older people in the capital to tell Age UK London where to focus our policy and campaigning efforts over the coming years – all of our campaigning work is guided by you.
The consultation asks respondents to rate their happiness with a variety of issues on a scale of one to five, including categories such as: their housing situation; tidiness of their neighbourhood; and their access to digital equipment.
When indicating low levels of satisfaction, respondents are asked to elaborate to allow us to respond to their concerns in the most informed way possible.
In previous years “Your Priorities” surveys have played a key part in helping Age UK London to prioritise which issues to challenge in our London-wide campaigns.
For example, 2013 saw the launch of our “Wealth of Wisdom” campaign, following survey responses that expressed concern over other generations’ perceptions of older Londoners. Consequently we organised a week of events to celebrate older people’s contributions to the capital.
The results of this survey also led to Age UK London campaigning for the Greater London Authority to research older Londoners contribution to the capital. This led to the GLA report “The Economic Contribution of Older Londoners”. This key piece of research showed that older Londoners provide a £53billion boost to the economy, challenging the stereotype that older people are a “burden” upon their families and wider society.
“Your Priorities” also allowed us to respond to calls for greater knowledge of – and access to – digital services through our “Wealth of the Web” report.
Released in early 2014, the campaign report showed that 78% of Londoners aged over 75 are not online and a total of 661,000 people over the age of 55 in London have never used the internet. Our research focussed on tackling the issue of how to decrease these figures and outlined recommendations for getting more of the 2.1 million older people in London online.
The report looked at the obstacles to getting older people online, which ranged from lack of interest to financial cost, as well as a lack of training and support. Our research also allowed us to discover the drivers behind getting older people online, which included family support and using the internet to enhance specific interests and hobbies.
Our recent campaign “Tell Me!” was also influenced by our “Your Priorities” research, specifically repeated requests for improved information provision from public bodies. This campaign saw Age UK London discover the exact problems older Londoners faced when trying to find important information. We also held a participatory “Information Scavenger Hunt” to test the ease of access to information services.
This research revealed that a lack of internet access and unhelpful automated answerphone systems can restrict older people from receiving the information they need. Poorly designed websites were also a concern, which led to our recommendation that older people should be involved in the design and testing of new websites.
Age UK London works to make London a great place to grow older. Yet to do that, we need to know what older Londoners want to change! We need to know what areas of their lives need improving and why. Our “Your Priorities” consultation is a great way to do so – please click here to complete the survey.