Together we can help raise the voices of older people in Gloucestershire
At Age UK Gloucestershire, we’re passionate about amplifying the voices of local older people. That’s why every month we ask a Question of the Month and invite older people across the county to share their thoughts and experiences on a particular topic.
We launched the Raise Your Voice Question of the Month Initiative earlier this year and we’ve already had some fascinating conversations with you about subjects that really matter.
Read below to find out what we asked and how you responded.
In April, we asked:
"Tell us what you will be doing that will help your community recover and reopen once you can get out and about again?"
This month we heard from older people across the county who told us that they were looking forward to re-engaging with the local community, whilst still continuing to take sensible precautions. Many people were keen to help their community recover and re-open by doing things such as returning to group activities, volunteering, and physical activities.
“I will be going to Zumba again as soon as possible; I love getting out to see people but I hope people aren’t silly & transmission increases again”
Shopping more locally and supporting local businesses including hairdressers was a popular theme. There was a general feeling of wanting to support local ventures and charities with several people commenting they will be shopping in local charity shops, as they really need support.
“I have gone back to volunteering in my local charity shop, I am enjoying mixing with more people again & supporting the hospice – I feel safe as I am behind a screen and they really need our support”
In March, we asked:
“What will make you feel confident to join in with community activity as lockdown restrictions are eased?”
There was a great response to this question and we heard from over 90 people across the county, aged from their mid-50s through to their late-90s.
Our conversations with you told us that it was the roll out of the vaccine that was giving most people the confidence to re-engage with community activity. That being said, many people are still feeling cautious and said that meeting outdoors, socially distanced with masks on will help build confidence initially.
“We can’t wait to get out again! I’ve been locked away since last January – I’m ready to get back out now I’ve had the vaccine”.
Whilst the majority of people were confident and looking forward to resuming activities with some new adjustments, there was also a clear willingness to follow the rules:
“I am not worried and can’t wait to get out - I will respect what the Government has said and follow the rules though”.
In February, we asked:
“How do you feel about being offered the Covid -19 Vaccination?”
Your valuable feedback told us that the majority of older people in Gloucestershire were very positive about receiving the vaccine and that you felt it was the first step in the ‘return to normality’.
Nearly everyone reported that the process of receiving the vaccine had been extremely efficient with very little waiting time; many people were very complimentary about staff and volunteers who you said were friendly and helpful. Few reported any side effects after their first dose and those who hadn’t yet received the vaccine reported you couldn’t wait to get it!
We had some interesting feedback from a member of our BAME community, who felt that more could have been done to encourage take up within their peer group. Specifically, more time spent explaining the vaccine and better investment ahead of the roll-out.
‘What a relief there is a vaccine’
‘Age has its’ benefits and this is one of them’