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Usually we ask older people and their carers to share their life experience OR comment on services we are thinking of providing.  This is often called consultation. 

With this new project we want you to come together and set your own agenda.

We need your ideas on what will make Southwark more Age Friendly.

This new Citizen Research Community (CRC) is open to any older person or carer who is aged 60 and over, or  caring for an older person living in Southwark. It really does not matter if you have never done anything like this before. We will support, and learn from, each other. There will be free training.

Once we agree on the topics we will help you carry out action research. A key stage is then getting your findings and evidence across to those who can make the changes and improvements- to really make a difference. 

You just have to be someone who has an interest in other people and how things work. And you need some time to join others in Southwark to carry out this participative research.

Download our leaflet here.

Your first step to doing something different is to fill out our  Expression of Interest/Membership Form.

How will this work with COVID-19?

Of course, starting a new project when we are still dealing with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on all of our lives will be challenging for many reasons especially as we need to keep safe and socially distanced. We do understand that not everyone has access to computers or smart phones but please do not let this put you off joining in as we will try to help with this. 

Community Southwark and Healthwatch delivered our training in participatory research methods back in May so we are now at the stage of carrying out our fieldwork.

Two CRC members are asking the question “How do Older People feel about using computers?” starting from their own experiences.

We know that there is lot of pressure on everyone to be more connected online and using the internet but of course not everyone has the equipment or the connectivity, the confidence or skills to use the devices or even the interest.

There is an issue with some services only being accessed via apps or online  - you hear terms like Digital First, Digital by Default and Digital Only. We know that some older people rely on others, often family or friends, to book appointments, services, or order items for them. This was very true last year during the various lockdowns when even GP surgeries were closed and we know that price comparison sites quote cheaper prices if you do it all online.      

The other CRC members want to explore what it means to be an (unpaid) carer and how has the last 17 months impacted on everyone’s mental and physical wellbeing. Is there more loneliness?

We hope to present all our findings in December this year – when we will make suggestions for improvements based on what local people have told us and what we know from our own lived experience.

If any of this is of interest to you please do get in touch.  We would be happy to make a connection.

Email crc@ageuklands.org.uk or phone 0207 358 4077 and leave a message for Barbara, the project worker.

“Change does not happen at the end – it happens throughout”.