Guest blog – Working together to curb the cold weather

This guest blog was contributed by the Age Action Alliance

Last week, a new kind of partnership came of age at Age UK.  The Age Action Alliance – the network for partnership working and practical action to improve later life – celebrated its first anniversary with a ‘winter warmth’ themed Parliamentary reception.

It is just over a year since the Cabinet’s Social Justice Committee asked Age UK to help promote cross sector collaborative action on ageing, providing joint Secretariat with the Department for Work and Pensions. The Alliance is a vehicle to develop society’s response to demographic change, encouraging collaboration and recognising that there are areas where systemic success cannot be achieved by any single sector or organisation. Over 260 organisations are now members of this unique network. Continue reading “Guest blog – Working together to curb the cold weather”

Police and Crime Commissioners

In terms of elections, this week’s chance to vote for Police and Crime Commissioners in your local police force area may not be up there with deciding the next leader of the free world, but in their own way the elections are significant.

This will be the first time that voters will have had the opportunity to elect Commissioners, who will be accountable for how crime is tackled in their area. Apart from London, where the Mayor has taken on the powers of a Commissioner, every police force in England and Wales will gain a new elected leader.

Crime is a major cause of concern to older people and fear of crime can increase isolation. But there is also evidence that older victims often experience ill health and reduced wellbeing, particularly if they are subjected to crimes such as distraction burglaries, which often target older people.

Photo: elliott.bledsoe (Creative Commons)

At present, older people’s experiences and views do not adequately inform crime reduction, so if Police and Crime Commissioners are to ensure their community safety and crime reduction services tackle crime affecting older people, they need to take time to find out their views and act on them. Continue reading “Police and Crime Commissioners”

Guest blog: Chorlton for All Ages

This guest blog was contributed by Matthew John Hargreaves an architecture  student at Manchester Metropolitan University.

In 2010, the Valuing Older People team at Manchester City Council was successful in their bid for Manchester to become an Age-Friendly City.  Since then they have worked in collaboration with local partners, including architecture students, to develop an understanding of what ‘Age-Friendly’ actually means in relation to the urban context of Manchester.  As part of this, VOP have been active in the Manchester Ward of Chorlton to help represent the views of older people in the area, contributing towards the development of the regeneration Action Plan that has been outlined from 2010 to 2020.

With my work, and in line with the philosophy of my unit (called msa-p) at the Manchester School of Architecture, I wanted to develop an architectural project that was as accessible as possible.  Accessible not only in terms of the physical design and features of the urban landscape, but accessible in terms of the design process and techniques used to arrive at my final proposals.  Inspired by the work carried out by VOP and driven my desire to represent those who are often excluded by architectural design processes and building developments, i.e. older and younger people, I developed architectural proposals in line with the

Chorlton consultation

Chorlton District Centre Regeneration Action Plan as a form of representation, to highlight the needs of these often overlooked or ignored age groups.

My final proposals and architectural ideas therefore can be seen as an interpretation of the Age-Friendly city concept specific to Manchester, and hope to highlight some of the issues faced by younger and older residents in Chorlton with relation to the regeneration of their community. Continue reading “Guest blog: Chorlton for All Ages”