We (the Elders Council, with Quality of Life Partnership and Northumbria and Newcastle Universities) had a series of public conversations with people aged 50 years and over who live in Fenham/Wingrove area of Newcastle.
We really wanted to know what people think is good about their neighbourhood, and how it could be improved to better meet their needs in the future.
We held three public conversations with around 25 people during May. At the first two events, we asked people to share their experiences, opinions and ideas about their home and their neighbourhood. At the last event, we worked with Skimstone Arts, a local arts organisation, to produce a play to illustrate some of the ideas that have come out of the conversations. This play, and the other feedback we got during the public conversations, will be shared with around 80 people working in professional and voluntary organisations at future events, to make sure what we've found out together is heard by the right people.
We hope our future conversations will help us to get a better understanding of the range of activity and support available in Fenham/Wingrove, and also help us to raise important issues about what needs to happen in the future with people working in housing, care and health in later life.
As older people, we know that social care is in urgent need of reform with fewer people getting the help they might need to remain independent at home. A group of Elders Council members set out to explore alternative models of care and support. Their findings are available in a report in the Reports section of the website. Elders Council is now discussing the findings with Newcastle City Council and others in the hope that more innovative models of care will be offered in the city.