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Age Allies

Published on 09 April 2018 05:17 PM

Age Allies is a three year programme that provides FREE age awareness training to business and organisations across London.

Age Allies is a new Programme, funded by the City Bridge Trust, that provides FREE Age Awareness Workshops to organisations and businesses across London. The three hour workshops have been developed in collaboration with older Londoners and are designed to help participants identify their own unconscious attitudes and assumptions about older people. They use a series of interactive exercises which are co-facilitated by older volunteers.

“The Age Allies Workshop brought unexpected benefits, improving customer awareness and the quality of interactions and service delivery across the board.”

Unconscious bias

Attitudes to age and older people have not kept pace with changes in society. Life expectancy has increased enormously and people are living active and healthier lives for longer than ever. Yet 50 is still often seen as the point when one is considered old. These days that would make us old for almost half our lives! Does the label of “old” put all those people in the same category? Are they one homogenous group or a varied and diverse array of individuals with different life-styles, life-chances, motivations and responsibilities who often do not perceive themselves as “old”.

“The workshop opened my eyes to the invisibility of older people in some situations.”

Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing. Our biases are influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.

Innovation and Forward Thinking

The Age Allies Programme is a unique opportunity to develop age awareness within your team. The results have the potential to influence service and product design and delivery and can have real and positive impacts on operational effectiveness and performance. Participants leave our workshops with a greater awareness of themselves in relation to older customers and service users, and with a personal way forward.

The workshop format has been developed with a small group of older volunteers who also act as co-facilitators. Using a series of interactive exercises they have been designed in such a way as to be effective across sectors and business types. They are not just for customer service workers - they are relevant to staff in all roles and at all levels.

“Thank you for running the workshop – all of us over here agreed that it was a very valuable session. It was great in stimulating us to think about all sorts of issues, both personal and relating to our work.”

The workshop uses a series of interactive exercises to raise awareness of age and attitudes about older people. We hear directly from older people about their own experience and begin to understand the consequences of attitudes and language. We move through a process of identifying the current situation and our own unconscious assumptions, through establishing a way forward for individuals and your organization, to an invitation to commit to making personal change.

We are delivering these FREE half day workshops to businesses and organisations all across London. If you would like to find out more about the workshops and discuss the benefits for your organisation, please get in touch.

If you would like to know more about how the workshops can help your organisation please read this handy guide.

If you are an “older person” who would like to be involved in encouraging a positive change in attitude towards yourself and others, I would love to hear from you.

For more information about the programme please drop me a line - RNorman@AgeUKLondon.org.uk.