Making our city a great place to grow old in
Over the last few years, the Elders Council has been working to create opportunities for older people to meet others and take part in interesting and sometimes challenging activities. The reason we have made this an important part of our work is because evidence shows that people who have strong networks of friends and family, and who take part in social activities, enjoy a happier and healthier older age.
Through our small grants programme, Staying Connected, we have supported over 40 groups to try out a new activity. We have held events where the groups that received the funding have come together to share what they have done. We have now published a report on our Staying Connected programme which tells the story of what we did and what we have learned along the way. The report is available - click here.
Reflecting on what we have learned from Bridging the Gaps, Staying Connected and the small research project we did on ‘Growing older in my home and neighbourhood’, we wanted to continue this work by having conversations with older people in different parts of the city. We applied to Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund) and were successful in receiving funding to enable us to host community conversations in five areas of the city.
It wasn't easy trying to decide which areas of the city to work in, but after weighing up a number of different factors, we selected the following areas: Cowgate, Kenton Bar, Montagu, Dinnington and Chapel House. We engaged with older people living in these areas in planning how and when we held the conversations.
To hear more about the conversations and our findings, please refer to the reports below:
We also commissioned an evaluation of this work, which was conducted by Moyra Riseborough, Consultant. Please refer to the report below:
Getting into the festive spirit has not stopped us from also looking at the serious matter of Newcastle City Council's Budget. Members of the Elders Council joined the Youth Council in attempting the Budget Simulation. After 2 hours of debate, we very reluctantly reached a balanced budget, but only by cutting back on services which we all regarded as essential. Members of the Elders Council Board met with Council officers to discuss the budget proposals and will be preparing a formal response which will be on our website soon..