Age Allies

Age Allies Blog #7 – Reflections

“The attitudes we hold to age and ageing are creating the world in which our future selves will live. We have the potential to make enormous positive changes for the benefit of everyone. As our population ages the consequences of inaction will have a profoundly negative effect on the health and social care system, our relationships, neighbourhoods and our economy. The inverse is also true. Being pro-active now will see a future that benefits all of us as we age.”

With funding for our Age Allies project set to finish in September, Programme Officer Richard Norman reflects on the project and society’s attitudes to age and ageing.

Age Allies Chris and Vanda leading the exercises at LSBU.

Age Allies in Action at LSBU

Our Age Allies programme provides free age-awareness workshops to organisations and businesses across London, thanks to funding from the City Bridge Trust. The half-day workshops have been developed in collaboration with a group of older Londoners known as the Age Allies and are designed to help participants identify their own unconscious attitudes and assumptions about older people.

Last week, the Age Allies went on tour, heading down to London South Bank University (LSBU) to showcase some of the exercises that take place during the workshops. Our Age Ally Chris tells us more:

age discrimination employment

Age Discrimination in Employment

“This week saw the Women and Equalities Committee publish a report on older people and employment. It did not make for pleasant reading. The report uncovered that more than a million people aged 50+ are seeing their talents overlooked due to discrimination, bias, and outdated employment practices.”

This week on the blog we’re looking into the findings of the Women and Equalities Committee and discussing some of the proposed solutions.

Age Allies Blog #6 – Volunteers

“There is a commonly held belief that as people get older they become less competent. My experience of developing the Age Allies Workshops in collaboration with a group of volunteers, underlines how absurd this notion of older people actually is. The creativity, insight and commitment they bring to the table makes our development meetings productive and great fun. Authentic, open, honest and intelligent are the words that spring to mind. Oh yes, and highly competent!”

This week on the Age Allies Blog, Project Coordinator Richard Norman opens the floor to two of the Age Allies volunteers, who discuss their experiences of the project.

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…

Age Allies Programme

Develop your Team with Free Age Awareness Training!

As humans we have a strong tendency to organise our social worlds by categorising and we all hold unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups. These biases are influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences. If our society categorises “older people” as all those over a particular age, say fifty, then we are likely to see all those who arbitrarily fit that categorisation as having commonalities. Our assumptions about those commonalities are informed by our unconscious beliefs.

The Age Allies Programme is a unique opportunity to develop age awareness within your team. Age UK London are delivering these FREE half day workshops to businesses and organisations all across London.

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!

Age Allies – Tackling Age Discrimination

“I recently discovered that I am categorised as a “Second-wave Baby Boomer”. This (apparently) identifies my generation. I can’t say I’d ever really considered it before – after all age is just a number, right? Had I been born four years later it would have been “Generation X”, sixteen years earlier and I would be one of the “Silent Generation”.

Do these labels carry any weight? Is there a typical baby boomer? Surely within each age identifying category people are as diverse as in any other? How can there possibly be a typical older person?”

All very good questions which we hope to answer with our new Age Allies project – a brand new programme to help combat age discrimination across the capital. Project leader Richard Norman tells us more…