Inspired by the EY2012 initiative, the Older People’s Council (OPC) in Brighton & Hove organised several community events during the year, such as older drivers’ safety initiative, community TV during the Olympics, and People’s Day. Moreover, rather than support the EY 2012 initiative for one year only, the OPC have decided to embark on a campaign for Brighton & Hove to become an age-friendly city, therefore implying a lasting city wide project with a more permanent impact on the lives and well-being of both young and old.
The World Health Organisation define an age friendly city as “an inclusive and accessible urban environment that promotes active ageing”. The OPC's long term plan start with an assessment of needs using the WHO age friendly criteria. It will next suggest cost effective and sustainable improvements that promote active ageing and benefit the lives of older people, making the city a more active and inclusive place for all; and finally, implement the improvements over the following three years.
OPC will be working in partnership with the city council, as well as other voluntary groups such as AgeUK, Pensioner Action and Community Service Volunteers. The city Youth Council will also be involved to encourage continuous youth participation in the future.
The criteria cover outdoor spaces, transport, housing, social participation, inclusion, and community support. Some ideas that the OPC plan to implement include improved toilet facilities, more seating to encourage walking, a wider range of activities for seniors, youth helping older people with technology and home help services, better communication channels with the elderly and increasing volunteer numbers of all ages. The programme could also lead to more self employment for people participating in the provision of these additional activities and services.
Also key to planned active ageing activities will be the setting up of friendly neighbourhood schemes that will work towards improving the number and choice of activities and encouraging more social interaction with a view to reducing the levels of isolation among the elderly.
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Older People’s Council Brighton & Hove|
The Brighton & Hove Council is composed of 9 members aged over 60 who are publicly elected by the residents aged over 60 of the city. They listen to older people, act on their concerns and keep them informed of actions taken on their behalf.
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