Too many older Londoners don’t feel confident about leaving their home because our community infrastructure, things like transport and toilets, are not what they should be. This is a key cause of social isolation and action to tackle social isolation has never been more needed. The Out and About campaign is looking at reducing social isolation by improving community infrastructure.
The campaign: what’s it all about?
The social isolation felt by some older people is a long-term problem. Social isolation is complicated but we shouldn’t accept that's how it is. The pandemic has meant that some older Londoners are experiencing social isolation for the first time. For others it has made existing isolation much worse. Since the pandemic began rising anxiety has meant that fewer people now feel confident about leaving their homes and getting out and about. The longer someone goes without going out the harder it gets.
Campaigning for better community infrastructure
An age-friendly London has good community infrastructure. Examples of community infrastructure include parks, libraries, transport and toilets. Good community infrastructure is key to fighting social isolation because it enables us to connect with others, meet new people and maintain friendships that are vital to our wellbeing.
Meaningful social connections that reduce social isolation often take place outside our homes but too many older Londoners feel trapped in their own homes. One group of Londoners for whom this can be especially true for are the 44% of people over the age of 75 that live alone.
There are also public health benefits from improvements to community infrastructure as they can enable more people to live active healthier lifestyles. In the long-term this will save public services including the NHS money.
Better journeys to get Out and About
Our first Out and About campaign is about making public transport in London easier for those that need a bit of extra support. We are campaigning so that fewer older Londoners are socially isolated, because positive changes have made them feel more confident about making journeys to the places where they can connect with others.
London’s lack of toilets is a serious public health concern and it is already disadvantaged groups of Londoners such as those with health conditions requiring more frequent visits to the toilet that are most affected. We’ve launched London Loos – a call for better public toilet provision in the capital.
Sign up to be a campaign Champion
This campaign belongs to everyone and we would like our supporters to play a leading role.
We’re establishing a group of campaign Champions to ensure the campaign is a success. Champions choose how they get involved and examples of some of the things Champions may do include:
• Sharing their experiences.
• Spreading the word (on and offline) to encourage others to get involved.
• Speaking directly to those who we need to persuade to make positive changes.
• Writing to politicians and other decision makers.
We are especially keen for many Champions to be new to campaigning and would love to hear from those that sometimes feel isolated because things like inadequate transport and toilets are a barrier to doing the things they want to do.