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Launch of Age-friendly Barnet

Published on 02 October 2023 10:22 AM

Silver Sunday marked the official launch of Age-Friendly Barnet.

Barnet Council and Age UK Barnet are launching a mission to become a fully fledged age-friendly borough with a series of fun-filled activities for the over-50s to mark Silver Week.

The celebration began on 1 October -  Silver Sunday - with a free event at Middlesex University. Other events and activities will follow throughout the week – including singing workshops, Pilates sessions, walking and other social gatherings, and a pottery class. Learn more here.

Cllr Gill Sargeant, Age Friendly Barnet Champion, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Age UK Barnet on this initiative, and to be hosted by Middlesex University for what was a great launch event on Silver Sunday attended by a wide range of organisations.

“It was a lovely way to kick-off Silver Week, and we look forward to hearing the views of how people want to age well in Barnet, building on all the work done so far.”

The ‘Age Friendly Barnet’ mission is led by Barnet Council and Age UK, which the local authority has funded to support the work. They are encouraging everyone and every organisation to get involved in the movement – please email to become a part of it.

Cllr Paul Edwards, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We want everyone to be able to age well in a borough they live in and love. We recognise the integral role of older people in the life of the borough, and we want to make sure Barnet is a place where they can be healthy and happy.”

Barnet recently joined the UK Network of Age-Friendly Communities, and the council commissioned Age UK to conduct the Age Friendly Barnet survey, which received more than 1,000 responses.

Pippa Mannerings, Age-Friendly Barnet Coordinator, said: “We are so pleased with the response rate from our survey. We are beginning to see a picture of what it is like to grow older in Barnet. We are keen to ensure that the voices of older residents are at the heart of every step of this project, so having this foundation is a great start.”

The survey showed 78% of over-55s in Barnet can access green spaces at least once a day, while 60% say there are enough fun, affordable social activities for them. It also highlighted some social disparities – for instance, 69% of white British residents felt safe while alone outside, compared to just 44% of BAME respondents.

It identified a correlation between confidence in using digital technology and being socially active, feeling safe while alone outside, and being confident to spot financial scams.

The survey results will now go through various public consultations before the Age-Friendly Barnet Action Plan is produced in 2024.

Find out more about Age-friendly Barnet here.

Key Age-friendly survey results

· 78% of all over 55s are able to access an open greenspace/ park at least once a day (82% 55-65, 73% 66-75, 68% 76-85, 45% over 85).

· 61% of men agree that there are enough public toilets in Barnet, compared to only 29% of women.

· 69% of white residents feel safe when out and about compared to 44% of BAME residents.

· 62% of all over 55s are reliant on public transport for their day-to-day lives.

· 71% of all over 55s agree that it is easy for them to access and navigate public transport.

· 71% of all over 55s are happy with their current living arrangements.

· Being able to access support to improve housing correlates with being happy with living arrangements in the over 55 population.

· 60% of all over 55s agree that there are enough activities that are affordable and enjoyable (73% 55-65, but only 16% of 85+).

· 54% of all over 55s believe that people treat them with less respect as they age more.

· 63% of all over 55s are confident with using digital technology (72% 55-65, 35% 85+).

· There is a correlation between being confident with using digital technology and: feeling safe whilst out and about, being an active member within social groups, and, feeling confident to be able to spot scams.

· Of all the over 55s who felt confident that they could get a job if they wanted, 73% were men and 27% were women. 88% were white and 12% BAME.