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The Isle of Wight is already a place where many older people play an active part in their community, and where many are able to access most of the services and amenities they need.

However, there are also large numbers of older people who struggle to live the life they would wish, sometimes feeling lonely and isolated and who at times can't get out and do what they want to do.

As part of Age Friendly Island this project is working with the World Health Organisation's 'Guide to Age Friendly Cities' and has become the first rural area in the UK to become Age Friendly. Age UK Isle of Wight and Community Action IW are working to create an environment where the community is set up to help older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay locally involved.

The project uses the eight domains included in the 'Guide to Age Friendly Cities' to create an Age Friendly Island, which are:
  • Outdoor spaces and buildings transportation
  • Housing
  • Social participation
  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Civic participation and employment
  • Communication and information
  • Community support and health services

Age UK IW will be working with relevant organisations' on the Island such as the fire service and council to support them to become Age Friendly. As well as this they will be engaging with the community and hosting the Celebrating Age Festival each October, which includes an awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of older islanders.

Community Action IW is working with neighbourhoods to address concerns of older people. This includes working with voluntary organisations and Town and Parish Councils, encouraging them to work together with older people to address local needs and make real change that will benefit everyone.

So far Age Friendly Island has acheived:
  • Over 200 professionals have received Age Friendly Training from Bembridge Parish Council, Hampshire Police, HMP Service, IW Fire and Rescue Service, Southern Housing, Southern Vectis, Red Funnel and representatives from Pan Management Group, Pan Together and ERMC.
  • Train the Trainer has been piloted with Southern Vectis, who are now rolling out this training to all drivers in the wider 'Go South Coast' company.
  • 822 Isle be Safe and Well Visits have been carried out by IW Fire and Rescue Service.
  • An Age Friendly Island Surgeries Toolkit and short film have been produced and is now being promoted nationally.
  • Dementia Friendly Church Services are becoming established.
  • Isle of Wight Against Scams (IWASP) Led by Trading Standards has been formed to addresses doorstep crime and scams within the home.
  • Age Friendly Public Forums have been delivered every quarter and have been attended by over 163 people. Themes covered have included Age Friendly Surgeries, Health Care Redesign, Transport, Employment and Scams.
  • More than 2,000 pupils from 23 different schools across the Island have been directly involved with Age Friendly Island, through assemblies, lessons and special events.

Find out more

For more information on Age Friendly Island please contact us on (01983) 525282 or email:

This project is part of the Age Friendly Island partnership. Age Friendly Island is part of Ageing Better, a programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Ageing Better aims to develop creative ways for older people to be actively involved in their local communities, helping to combat social isolation and loneliness. It is one of five major programmes set up by The National Lottery Community Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier.