Our Age-Friendly Bournemouth strategy, launched on National Older People’s Day in 2008, celebrates the fact that people are living longer than ever before and acknowledges that older people will play an even bigger role in shaping our communities in the future.
The number of older people is increasing nationally, and this is specially an issue in Bournemouth where 23% of the population is 65 or over, with 37% 50 or over.
The council’s strategy aimed to improve the safety and security of older people and generate community spirit by bringing old and young together. Projects such as the ‘Fab at 50+’ show, which was put on in partnership with neighbouring councils, the NHS and local retailers, showcased a range of activities for older people.
By working together with partners in the public, private and voluntary sector the Age-Friendly Bournemouth strategy has led to number of key successes so far, including:
- a reduction in the number of house fires thanks to more home safety checks for older people carried out by Dorset Fire & Rescue
- an increase in the number of older people volunteering in the community
- more older people taking part in leisure activities thanks to Age Concern and local leisure centres
- better access for older people to receive help and advice including benefit, housing and employment information
- a local business commitment to the aims of the campaign through the signing of the Age-Friendly Charter by the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade
The campaign has received a huge amount of support from older people themselves, who have also played a part in helping the council to agree the principles of the strategy. A few local older people even transformed themselves into models for the day to feature in a billboard and bus advertising campaign throughout the town promoting positive and active images of local older people.
Judith Geddes, executive director for adult and community services, said: “We are very proud of our older population in Bournemouth. Through this strategy we aim to enable older people to remain active, healthy and involved in their local community for as long as possible. This could be through choosing to work for longer, by enjoying more leisure activities or by using their valuable skills, knowledge and experience to help others.
“These are all fantastic achievements to be celebrated. Together with our partners we are challenging the negative myths that are often held by other sections of the community about older people.
“I would like to thank all those involved, including our partners in the public, private and voluntary sector, for being committed to the strategy which is clearly already having a positive impact on Bournemouth’s older people. Winning the LGC award is testimony to the dedication that we all have to ensuring older people can live a better, healthier and more active lifestyle for longer.”
Public private partnerships shortlist
Tameside MBD (highly commended)
Sunderland City Council