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.

Age Allies

Age Allies Blog #8 – Age/ncy: Our Findings

In April of this year, Age UK London’s Age Allies project took part in “Age/ncy”, an intergenerational arts display organised by Flourishing Lives at Tate Modern. Of the course of the weekend, dozens of organisations from across London put on exhibitions, workshops, installations and performances that challenged stereotypical assumptions of older people.

We have now had time to reflect on the weekend as a whole and to assess all the information we received when running our workshops. Let’s take a look at some of the findings…

TV Licence

Saving the Free TV Licence

“When mobility issues mean you struggle to get out and about, the TV helps you stay connected. When money is a constant worry, it’s a way to escape. And when you spend your days alone, it gives you something to rely on, something to look forward to. For over a million of the oldest people in our society, TV is their main form of company. It’s not just ‘the box in the corner’, it’s a window to the world, and a human voice when they’ve not spoken to another person in days.”

Following the news that the BBC plans to means test the TV licence for the over 75s, we explain why the free TV licence is such a valuable resource and why means testing isn’t as fair as you might think.

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/ncy

Reflections of Age/ncy at Tate Modern

“Armed with a dedicated group of volunteers, our Age Allies stall offered the chance for members of the public to reflect on what they’d witnessed at Age/ncy and to explore their assumptions and understanding of the ageing process.”

Last month we headed to Tate Modern to take part in AGE/NCY: Art, Ageing and Transition, an intergenerational arts display. Find out how we got on!

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:

Ageing without children in hospital.

Ageing Without Children in Hospital

“The stories of those without family in hospital are rarely heard, rarely actively sought out. In almost all cases complaints about treatment are raised by family members, if you don’t have a family, there is no one to raise complaints. An older person, ill, isolated and worried in hospital with little or no external visitors is not likely to “make a fuss”. As far as we know there has been no research targeted at finding out about the experiences of people ageing without children in hospital.”

We accept without question that if an older person requires treatment, it is undeniably better for them and for the hospital, that they have their family with them. But what about those who are ageing without children? Kirsty Woodard explains all:

Age/ncy: Age Allies at TATE Modern

In 1969, the psychiatrist Dr. Robert N. Butler coined the term ‘ageism’ to denote the way society denies older people the opportunities to pursue life, to reinvent themselves.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the anti-ageism movement, Age UK London’s Age Allies programme will join Flourishing Lives in the creation of ‘Age/ncy’ – an intergenerational arts installation at TATE Modern that will shatter sedate stereotypes of ageing and older people.

The free event will run from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April at Tate Modern, in the Tate Exchange area on the Fifth floor of their new Blavatnik building.

Age of Creativity Festival

The Age of Creativity Festival

“In three high profile speeches when he has been discussing the changing shape of the NHS going forward, Matt Hancock has been keen to support the emergence of ‘social prescribing’, and the growing engagement of the NHS with non-medical treatment which can be shown to improve wellbeing and address the corrosive advance of loneliness and isolation. Building on and developing the NHS collaboration with the creative and cultural sector is a great opportunity to take that forward.”

With social prescribing proving a useful tool to combat isolation and loneliness, the Age of Creativity Festival offers a great chance to engage with the cultural and creative sector – whilst making friends along the way! Age UK’s Mervyn Kohler tells us more…