In August and September, we asked:
“Can you tell us what practical steps could be taken to make your local high street easier for you to visit so it feels more welcoming and accessible?”
This question generated some really interesting comments about what could be done to improve your local high street. As it was such an important topic, we carried the question over into September and in October, we wrote to all the district MPs to let them know about a funding opportunity they can access and we also let them know what you told us would make their high streets more Age Friendly. Your voice has had a real chance to make a difference.
You can read a summary of your answers here.
And you can read a copy of the letter that our CEO sent below:
“Will you help us work towards an Age-Friendly Gloucester?
Age UK Gloucestershire would like to draw your attention to some new funding available to support local councils build accessible “Changing Places” toilets for adults with disabilities.
Changing Places toilets can help older people with disabilities, including dementia, and their carers feel safe and comfortable to get out, visit their local high street and participate in community activities.
We hope you’ll consider applying for this funding as it will be a step towards making the area an age friendly community.
At Age UK Gloucestershire we believe that developing age friendly communities are an essential way of responding positively to the demographic change we are seeing. You’ll be aware that there is projected to be a 69% increase in the population of Gloucester aged 65+ by 2041. Age-friendly communities improve life experiences for people of all ages and play a preventative role in reducing demand for formal services.
The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Age Friendly Communities model provides a useful framework for both urban and rural place shaping that supports health, wellbeing and active living https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/age-friendly-cities-framework/. The eight inter-related domains of Age Friendliness include a focus on more accessible outdoor spaces and buildings. This is where Changing Places toilets can make a difference.
Recently, Age UK Gloucestershire asked older people across the county, in our Question of the Month, “What practical steps could be taken to make local high streets more accessible and welcoming?” Many older people said they would spend more time in town, and therefore contribute more to the local economy, if they could access better toilet facilities and take a rest on more suitable seating. Further comments from local people are summarised in the attached document for your information.
We are looking for the first Gloucestershire District to step forward and commit to becoming ‘age friendly’.
If you would like to meet to discuss how Gloucester can start working towards becoming an age friendly community, I would be more than happy meet to discuss how we can work together to achieve this.
Chief Executive, Age UK Gloucestershire”
For more information contact:
Helen Atkinson, Head of Age Friendly Innovation on 01452 420931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org