Mental Health and the Arts

“Age UK’s recent Wellbeing Index went so far as to say that social and civic participation and creative and cultural participation are hugely important, together making up almost 1/8th of total wellbeing in later life. Furthermore, research by the Arts Council England in 2016 found that 76% of older people said arts and culture was important in making them feel happy, while over half of those surveyed said that arts and culture helped them to meet other people as well as encouraging them to get out and about. Meanwhile, the Mental Health Foundation discovered increased confidence and self-esteem amongst participants that were engaged in forms of participatory art.”

Research suggests that arts and culture are vital to older people’s mental health and wellbeing. We investigate the research and discuss some of the barriers to participation for older people.

Private Rented Sector

Age and the Private Rented Sector

“The Home Improvements report is a timely intervention, which showcases the challenges that face “the Millennial Generation” in the present day and the years to come. It also dovetails nicely with our own report Living in Fear: Experiences of Older Private Renters in London, which performed a similar investigation into the difficulties facing older Londoners that rent privately.

If it is indeed true that a third of Millennials face renting for their entire lives, then our findings suggest that large scale changes need to be made in order to meet these tenants’ needs as they grow older. This is especially urgent, considering that The number of private-renting households for those aged 45-64 has more than doubled in the last ten years and recent estimates suggest that the number of private-renters in London aged 65 and over could double between 2014 and 2039.”

This week, a report from the Resolution Foundation has found that up to a third of young people face living in private rented accommodation for all of their lives. We offer our knowledge of the private rented sector, the affect it has upon many older tenants and the changes that need to be made to meet the needs of present and future older tenants.

Hundreds of runners taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon run along the river bank

Run the Royal Parks Half Marathon!

It was a strangely sunny October day when our five fantastic fundraisers started the first of the thirteen miles that make up the 2017 Royal Parks Half Marathon. We were so proud of our runners, who put in all the effort to train and fundraise in the months leading up to the big day, before performing brilliantly across the entire 13.1 mile course – raising over £2000 to help London to love later life in the process!

Now it’s your turn.

There are still spaces available for the 2018 Royal Parks Half Marathon! Here’s all you need to know to run on behalf of Age UK London!

Sadiq Khan London Plan

Assessing the London Plan

This week, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, released the draft edition of the London Plan, a strategic document that shapes how London will evolve and develop over the coming years. Once finalised, the London Plan will set a policy framework for local plans right across London, as well as forming the basis for all future planning decisions. The plan represents the Mayor’s vision for London over the next 25 years, with particular attention being paid to an estimated population of increase of 1.8 million, taking the capital to an approximate value of 10.5 million.

The document itself is five-hundred pages, so we won’t be able to discuss everything that is mentioned, but we’ve picked out some highlights for you!

tv licence

Calling all over 75s in London – Claim your free TV Licence now!

Age UK London is working with TV Licensing to urge anyone aged 75 or over living in London to get in touch with TV Licensing to claim their free TV Licence. Currently, there are more than 180,000 people in London who are claiming an Over 75 TV Licence – but with nearly 460,000 Londoners aged 75 and over, lots of people are potentially paying for a Licence when they don’t need to. Here’s all the information you need to get your free TV licence sorted…

Party

Age Allies Project Launches!

“The audience were then posed the question “how old is old?”, which naturally drew a whole range of responses – especially once Richard mentioned a video in which the answer given was “40”! This kickstarted a discussion as to whether labelling someone as “old” makes them act in way that society thinks older people should behave. As a result, the Age Allies project aims to counteract the “old person” stereotype, by highlighting the individuality of this demographic and making clear that older Londoners are not a homogenous group. In doing so, it is hoped that organisations and businesses can alter the experiences of older customers and service users to stop them from feeling invisible, patronised, and frustrated and to instead make them feel valued, included, and appreciated.”

Monday October 23rd saw the launch of Age UK London’s new Age Allies programme at the Cockpit Arts Studios in Russell Square. Find out all the details here!

Living in Fear – Older Private Renters in London

Over the last eighteen months, Age UK London has been investigating the experiences of older private renters in London as part of our Older Private Sector Tenants Programme. Funded by the Nationwide Foundation, the research collated the views of older Londoners across a series of focus groups and individual interviews to gain a broad insight into the experiences of older renters in the capital. This information formed the basis of our brand new research report: “Living in Fear – Experiences of Older Private Renters in London”.

With the report completed, Age UK London hosted a launch event to reveal our findings at the Coin Street Conference Centre on the South Bank, find out all about the event…

air pollution

Air Pollution – How do we Fight it?

This is particularly concerning from our point of view, as older people are considered one of the most vulnerable groups for this type of pollution – especially those with heart or respiratory conditions. As it currently stands, the quality of London’s air is illegally poor, it is the most pressing threat to the future health of London. It is therefore unsurprising that the Draft Environment Strategy states that the Mayor wants to “dramatically reduce the number of Londoners whose lives are blighted by poor air quality.”

Air pollution poses a huge risk to older Londoners – but what can we do about it? We discuss our recent conference on the risks of air pollution and outline the Mayor’s proposals for change in the Draft Environment Strategy.

A Whole Host of Events!

It’s been a busy year so far here at Age UK London, but we’re showing no signs of stopping as we head into the winter months! With that in mind, we thought it’d be a good idea to run through some of the events we have coming up in the run up to the new year… Take a look and see how you could get involved!

Gangsta Granny

Gangsta Granny!

Today is an exciting day for us at Age UK London – we’re heading down to the Garrick Theatre in the West End to raise funds at the matinee showing of Gangsta Granny! If you’re at the show today be sure to say hello to our group of volunteers who’ll be collecting to make sure that we can continue to make the voices of older Londoners as loud as possible.

Seeing as Gangsta Granny is set to run until September 3rd, we thought it’d be fun to tell you a little more about the show and discuss the lessons it teaches us.