An Age Friendly Strategy for Culture in London?

“Older people engage with culture for a similar range of reasons to younger people, and people’s motivations are not necessarily quantifiable. But there are also clearly identified personal and social benefits. There is a growing understanding of the psychological, cognitive and physical health benefits of active involvement in the arts for older people. Even simply being able to be an audience member may have a positive impact on someone’s social inclusion and psychological state.”

The Mayor is consulting on a draft London Cultural Strategy: Culture for all Londoners. How age friendly does it look so far? Here are some initial thoughts

What can Councils do for older Londoners?

What can Councils do for Older Londoners?

“Many of the things we are calling on Councils to do also help tackle loneliness, a problem for many older people (and not only older people). A preventive approach to health and social care could support services like befriending which tackle isolation. Better pavement and street repair and more accessible neighbourhoods will encourage people to come out and take part in their local community.”

With the local council elections taking place this week, Gordon Deuchars answers the question: What can Councils do to make their boroughs age friendly?

An older man and two older women laughing over a cup of tea

Our Manifesto: Make London’s Boroughs Age Friendly!

“The London local elections are rapidly approaching, with polling day set for Thursday May 3rd. Four years on from the last London borough elections, all London borough councillor seats are set to be decided, alongside Mayoral contests in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets.

As London continues to grow in size, the number of older Londoners is increasing too – a 2016 estimate revealed that over a million Londoners were aged 65+ and 140,000 of that total were over the age of 85. A socially and economically diverse demographic, older Londoners contribute massively to every borough of the capital, as paid workers, volunteers, carers, family members, community activists, and in a whole host of other ways. As the number of older Londoners continues to increase, so too will these vital contributions to city life.

However, there are also a large number of older Londoners who are experiencing poverty and inequality, just like London’s other demographics. Whilst poverty amongst older people had been falling, there has sadly been a recent increase in the number of people who have dipped below the poverty line in later life. London’s housing crisis continues to affect people of all ages, with a serious lack of affordable housing in many areas. Loneliness too is an intergenerational concern, yet isolation is a particular concern for the older generation. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness has discovered that ‘more than 1 in 3 people aged 75 and over say that feelings of loneliness are out of their control.'”

Age UKs across London are proud to present “Make London’s Boroughs Age Friendly!” a manifesto for the upcoming London borough Council elections.

Age skills charity sector

Age and Skills in the Charity Sector

“By and large however, candidates are saying that it’s being “older” that’s the problem. And generally that means over 40, with 41% of candidates over 40 saying they’ve been discriminated against on account of their age in the charity sector. We never expected age discrimination to be the candidates’ biggest complaint.”

This week on the our blog we hear from Jean Merrylees of charityjob.co.uk, who discusses their recent research into age and skills in the charity sector. With some surprising results…

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!

A view of London overlooking the Thames.

When will London join the Global Age Friendly Cities Network?

“When will the capital join the global Age Friendly Cities network? Manchester and Bristol are marching ahead and Southwark has taken the plunge – so what can be done to commit London to join the global Age Friendly Cities Network? New York is a member but when you search #agefriendlylondon you find yourself reading about London in Canada! London’s piecemeal approach is indicative of lack of leadership and collaboration on older people’s issues.”

How can we get London to be as age friendly as possible? Jane Scobie investigates…

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!

Fit 4 Purpose – Gone but not Forgotten!

March 2017 saw the end of our Fit 4 Purpose project after a four year period. Fit 4 Purpose was a capacity building project funded by London Councils which saw Age UK London work in partnership with Opening Doors London. The project reached over 500 organisations across London, working with them to make sure they could effectively serve older Londoners. All 32 boroughs, including the City of London, had several of their local older people’s organisations taking part in Fit 4 Purpose.

Over 100 workshops took place over the course of the four year period. These sessions were an opportunity to “skill-up” organisations that worked with Older Londoners as well as a chance to network across the capital, sharing intelligence and knowledge to build upon good practice.

Considering the success of the project, we thought it’d be good to give it a proper send off in this week’s blog!

London Transport Strategy

New London Transport Strategy: Age Friendly?

“Part of the reasoning TfL presents is an acknowledgement that having more older people in London will lead to an increased need for the transport network to be accessible, and that it must be a priority to provide a good experience for public transport passengers. Quite a few of the policy proposals in the strategy mention that they are aimed to benefit older and disabled people. TfL also argues that major new developments like Crossrail 2 are needed to prevent existing transport services from being swamped by increased passenger numbers in future. Overall, the proposals give the impression that the future transport system will have to develop and improve radically, not just proceed through gradual tweaks.”

Transport has often been a top issue that older people have raised with Age UK London. Gordon Deuchars runs the rule over the Mayor’s new Transport Strategy.

pride of place

Pride of Place with Opening Doors London

“Pride is the spine of the LGBT+ year, the one point at which all sections of the community in all their varied sexualities and identities can come together to celebrate who they are, to protest or rally against what threatens us, and to remember our losses.

It has been the spine of my life, the one fixed point of the calendar, since 1972. This is true for many older people, who have marked the years by the marches or parades they have been on, the people they have met and celebrated with – the acts and speeches indelibly etched in their minds.”

Opening Doors London’s Peter Scott-Presland teaches us all about experiencing LGBT+ Pride as an older person.