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The Oxfordshire Age Friendly Creative Network (OAFCN) aims to ensure that older people across Oxfordshire have access to high quality creative and cultural opportunities regardless of their situation. Age UK research tells us that creative and cultural participation as the single most important factor in contributing to a positive sense of wellbeing in later life. The OAFCN has taken inspiration from Age Friendly initiatives across the UK, including locally in Banbury, and aims to make arts and culture an integral part of the Age Friendly agenda in Oxfordshire.

How can we make creativity more accessible to everyone?

OAFCN supports Cultural and Creative partners including Theatres, Arts Centres, Libraries, Museums, Music Venues and Creative Practitioners and Groups to develop their age friendly creative offer and work together in to enhance the creative offer for older people living in Oxfordshire. We want to ensure the arts are accessible to everyone including those experiencing isolation, physical and mental ill-health, memory loss, and those with caring responsibilities. We want to collect evidence of good practice and disseminate the learning across the partnership and beyond. Most importantly of all we want to celebrate the achievements and creativity of older people and challenge stereotypes.

How can you get involved?

The OAFCN is open to anyone with an interest in Age Friendly Arts and Culture including Cultural Organisations, representatives from Health and Social Care organisations, Academics and of course Older People who guide us in our work at all times. Network members will receive regular updates and newsletters with information about innovative creative activities and groups, funding opportunities, research reports and other relevant information.

We will also organise themed events which will aim to generate a age friendly creative new projects and activities and the opportunity to work with like-minded colleagues and organisations to develop new partnerships. We very interested in delivering Age Friendly Creative Pop Up events which showcase local creative activities a and have delivered projects of this type in Banbury and Bicester to date.

Response to Covid-19

Due to the current Covid 19 situation we have suspended all projects and meetings involving face to face contact. For the time being are focusing on digital engagement and exploring new ways of working for those who are not digitally connected to ensure they also access to creativity Our colleagues at Age of Creativity have produced a printable Creative Pack that can be shared with older people who are not on line and will be shared through our Age UK Oxfordshire networks. (see links to reports)

If you would like to join the OAFCN and be part of our movement for Age Friendly Creativity please email helenfountain@ageukoxfordshire.org.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter