Reducing Barriers to Walking in London

“Although important for the community as a whole, the project also had a positive effect on individuals. Barkingside resident, Victoria, who is 72, took part in six of our led walks. When she started, she walked just one circuit of the park as she had recently had a knee replacement, but by the end of the project she walked six circuits of the park. This led her to walk more to the shops, library and to visit friends in the area. She says it’s helped her to keep active and means she gets to talk to people. She’s now become a local volunteer, so she can lead walks for all ages in her local community.”

Living Streets’ Tanya Braun explains how we can overcome barriers to walking for older adults and ensure that London’s outdoors spaces are Age-friendly!

Farewell to the Age Allies Programme!

“Next up, “Age Ally” Chris took to the stage to give an impassioned speech on the ways in which the Age Allies project had shaped his understanding of age and ageing – even as an older Londoner himself! Chris explained how he had thoroughly enjoyed working with Richard and his fellow Age Allies to help “plant a seed” in the minds of the workshop attendees.”

This month we said farewell to our Age Allies programme, which has come to an end after three successful years. Find out how our goodbye event “Age Allies: Legacy” celebrated the work of the project and suggested ways in which the learning from the project could be carried forward into future campaigns across the age sector.

Pets Against Loneliness: Canines, Cake & Conversation!

One of the 8 main themes of a WHO Age-friendly City is “Social & Community Participation”. There are many activities and campaigns that fall under this heading, but they all have a common goal: ensuring that older citizens are able to actively participate in their society.

Lyn Ambrose, Founder of Pets Against Loneliness, tells us how canine companionship is helping to reduce social isolation in North London and how you can get involved.

Age-friendly City

Making London an Age-friendly City

“Knowing where to start is a daunting prospect but thanks to last June’s announcement that the Mayor had signed London up to the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Community we have a strong platform to build on. Age UK London first called for London to sign up as an Age-friendly City ahead of the 2016 Mayoral Elections and whilst we now have a commitment from the Mayor it will be actions on the ground that decide whether we earn the right to call London an Age-friendly City.”

We’ve launched a brand new campaign to make London an Age-friendly City! Our new Campaigns Officer John McGeachy explains how we can achieve this.

Travel in London

The Importance of Everyday Travel

“Despite its disproportionate size and subsidies from central government, London’s transport infrastructure and built environment can often feel hostile for older people, especially those experiencing disability or chronic illness. Older people need better information on the options and help available to them, transport staff need better training on how to accommodate an assist older people, and the wider public must better understand and accommodate the needs of older people.”

An accessible and affordable transport network is a vital feature of an Age-friendly City. Philip Corran, a researcher at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, discusses the difficulties older Londoners face with everyday travel focusing on how they overcome the obstacles they face and the impact these challenges have on their health and wellbeing.

Ageing Better at the Older People’s Advisory Group

“I am involved because you get to know about what other areas are doing, and it’s nice to meet people of our own age who are in the same boat. Some people are quite lonely, quite alone, and this is the only platform they have to get their voice heard. And that is the idea – that everyone has a say.”

Frances Eley, 91, talks about why the Older People’s Advisory Group in Camden is essential for older people in the borough to have their say on issues affecting them, to meet are share information, and to influence the Ageing Better work in the borough.

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

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…