Community Engagement helps research gaps in day activities for older people around Brighton & Hove to help develop plans for future activities and networks with key agencies to support the health and well-being of older people.
Many older people are able to get on with their lives, keeping healthy, socialising and being happy with a little help and support. Age UK Brighton & Hove offers a number of activities that aim to assist people as individuals or in their community groups to support themselves.
Funded through our Brighton & Hove City Council Strategic Grant, we work in the community with older people and volunteers to offer activities including tai chi, exercise classes, yoga, bridge, coffee mornings and lunch clubs; and with other voluntary groups to promote the wellbeing agenda. Some activities are held at our main office, where we have recently started a knitting group. Around 300 people are involved in these activities.
During the year we have re-focused our Community Engagement work towards engaging and supporting older people in the community, listening to their views and concerns. This in turn helps to channel effective communication between local older people and Age UK Brighton & Hove, as well as other key agencies who work with older people around issues of health and wellbeing and social support.
We plan to raise the profile of Age UK Brighton & Hove in the wider community. We will engage people by participating in more events and festivals aimed at older people. All of these activities will require volunteers to make the work a success and recruiting and supporting them will be a key feature of the coming year.
The University of Brighton and Age UK Brighton & Hove have been collaborating on a programme of participatory research since 2007.
We have worked with older people as co-researchers, most recently focusing on experiences of wellbeing and what this means to older people.
Age UK Brighton & Hove are working with the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to represent the views and health needs of older people in the city.