The launch of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 in the UK took place on March 6th in London at Europe House, home of the European Commission Representation and of the European Parliament Information Office in the UK.
Leading the discussion at the “Get Involved!” event, Baroness Greengross invited panel members to share their their views on the benefits of a multi-generational workforce. Participants in the debate included the London Bureau Chief of Bloomberg News' Mark Gilbert; Dr Amlan Roy, Head of Global Demographics and Pensions Research at Credit Suisse; Clive Bolton, “At Retirement” Director at Aviva, and James Bevan, Director at CCLA Investment Management Ltd., alongside attendees from UK organisations, charities and businesses.
On a live videoconference with Brussels, Lázló Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, told the audience that Active Ageing means living in an environment where growing old does not mean to become dependent on others. The EU supports the member states in their efforts. “The United Kingdom can be proud of its achievements in the Active Ageing field and we hope to see parties committing themselves to specific actions throughout the Year¨, he said.
Paul McGarry, from Manchester City Council, explained their “Valuing Older People'” programme and invited UK local authorities to consider becoming a World Health Organisation’s Age-Friendly City. Alan Hatton-Yeo, Chief Executive from the Beth Johnson Foundation, continued the discussion with fellow panel members, which included Denise Murphy, from Grandparents Plus, and Sue Warr, from the Dorset Partnership for Older People Programme.
Hadleigh Stollar, from NHS Direct, presented the new digital health-related service called Telehealth, and Jackie Hayhoe, from Age UK's “Fit as a Fiddle” programme, explained how they’d reached 300,000 older people.
BRITDOC Foundation launched their inspiring film “Ping Pong”, about the World Over 80s Table Tennis Championships, and how they're recruiting for future world champions this Olympic year.
Sarah Dauncey, Nuffield Health Wellbeing’s Medical Director, presented data showing how members in their sixties and beyond visit the gym 20 times more per year than their teenage counterparts. Nuffield Health analysed the usage figures of 120,000 Fitness and Wellbeing Centre members, aged 16 and over, and the research revealed that visits increase four times per year for every decade that passes. “We are living and working longer than ever before, so it is essential that people are given the tools they need to take control of their own health”, she said.
Michael Teit Nielsen, from Dane Age, travelled to London’s EY 2012 opening event to share their active ageing experience with the UK.
Pictures of the event may be seen here.